[Bonus Chapter] Out

No Tofu, No Life

Sana’s favorite part of her eleventh-grade schoolday started as soon as she left school. The bell would sound at two forty-two on the dot, a heavenly chime that rang throughout the hallways, signalling a thick wall of students to pour out from their classrooms, a mass exodus to freedom. However, there were a handful of students that were absent for this particular moment, students that had long collected their items from their lockers, making their way into the sweet serenity of the outside world without haste or delay. Dahyun and Sana just so happened to be part of that group.

    On most days, that simply meant that Sana would Dahyun from her classroom to the bus, bidding her an exaggeratedly tearful goodbye (one that was accompanied by a tirade of cloyingly sweet kisses) before running off to track practice. On Tuesdays, though, Sana was unburdened by any after school commitment, and would take a seat right next to her beloved. Usually, Dahyun would nap on Sana’s shoulder while the older girl talked to her friends on the bus (Dahyun was always complaining that Sana had too many friends), only waking up when they arrived at Dahyun’s house.

    Dahyun’s childhood apartment was a small, two-bedroom place that was less of a home and more of a “transient living area”. Since Dahyun was either at school or with Sana, and her father was almost always at work, the place had an empty feeling, one that was further emphasized by the free space throughout its drab brown walls and cold hardwood flooring. The only section of the apartment that didn’t evoke these lonely sensations was Dahyun’s room.

    Dahyun’s room contained a vibrance that the remainder of the apartment did not. It was outfitted with uncharacteristically feminine furniture, the type that sported hues of pink and yellow and white arranged in spirals and odd shapes that dotted every surface, with a queen-sized bed and an entire wall of photos, ninety-percent of which contained the image of a smiling, twinkly-eyed, bear-faced girl whom Dahyun had known since she was seven. This was the same girl who had, several years prior, assisted her wheelchair-bound best friend in decorating the entire room, disregarding Dahyun’s protests at the outrageous colors and styles that were chosen (although Dahyun would never admit it, she rather enjoyed the silly designs that Sana had made, as they were loving and comforting and reminiscent of the older girl’s personality). The same girl who wheeled Dahyun into that room every Tuesday after school, carefully placing her on the soft mattress before pulling the covers over both of their bodies and initiating their customary after-school cuddle session.

    The main reason that Dahyun and Sana chose to spend their Tuesdays at Dahyun’s vacant apartment rather than Sana’s open one was simple: Dahyun’s father worked until seven o’clock, and by that time, Sana would already be heading home for dinner. Although the entire school was aware of their relationship, their families were not. Both girls found it better to be this way.

    While their fathers were reasonable men, who loved their children very much, they were still a product of their time. They’d grown up in an era where homouality was considered a mental illness, a type of ual deviancy that was both taboo and sinful. Dahyun and Sana had discussed the prospect of coming out to their parents on numerous occasions, and the conversation had always ended with them putting it off, a result of a shared nervousness that they would no longer be accepted by the small amount of family that they both had. This sentiment was especially touted by Sana, who, after losing her mother just two years prior, was desperate to keep her father as happy and carefree as possible.

    And so, the two clandestine paramours continued their Tuesday afternoon schedule of snuggling, napping, and, on occasion, getting a bit more acquainted with each other’s bodies, clumsily navigating through the murky waters of adolescent, same-, handicapped intimacy. This slew of obstacles created situations that were awkward, and, at times, downright uncomfortable. Luckily for the both of them, their long-standing familiarity allowed them to get over these bumps, quickly becoming well-versed in the act of providing that wonderful satisfaction to one another.

    It was after one of these blissful encounters that the two were lounging lazily in one another’s arms, their cheeks still filled with pink blushes, their foreheads peppered with tiny drops of perspiration, their lips releasing long exhales of honeyed, tired breaths.

Sana locked herself around Dahyun’s warm body, pressing the younger girl’s face to her chest and showering the top of her head with kisses.

    “I love you so much, Dubu,” Sana crooned, nuzzling against her partner.

    “I feel like you only say that after we’ve had …” Dahyun muttered in mock annoyance, although there was a large smile plastered on her squishy cheeks.

    “Do you want me to say it more?” the blonde’s voice took on an innocently threatening tone, “I can say it every time I see you in school, if you want.”

    “No, no, no, that’s fine,” the younger girl turned turned her face up, utterly against this notion, “People already hate our sappiness enough.”

“Psh, as if I care,” Sana rolled her eyes and planted a kiss on her darling’s forehead, “The entire world could hate us and I would still kiss your perfect little lips in public. The ones on your face, anyway.”

“If my legs worked, I would run away from you right now, you freak.”

“That’s not what you were saying ten minutes ago,” Sana peered at her girlfriend, her expressive orbs widening with an enigmatic mischievousness that made Dahyun’s heart skip a beat.

The younger girl was unable to contain herself, and without further delay she pulled her girlfriend down for a series of sloppy kisses. The apex of each kiss was fraught with a burning ferocity as Dahyun nibbled and on Sana’s lips, causing the blonde to let out short, whining moans. By the feeling of Dahyun’s movements, Sana could tell that her girlfriend wanted to get on top of her, so she gradually pulled Dahyun over so that they could lay with their bare bodies pressed flat against each other.

Just as Sana’s hands were ghosting their way down Dahyun’s back, the sharp creaking of a door opening filled the room, and both girls froze, their heads bolting to the side and their hearts racing in their chests.

When she saw who it was, Dahyun let out a shriek. Sana remained silently aghast.

In the doorway stood Dahyun’s father, still wearing a dress shirt and tie, his eyes widened to ridiculous proportions and his mouth agape.

For a full, long, arduous second, nobody moved or spoke. Unsurprisingly, Dahyun’s father was the first to break through the cover of wordlessness, speaking in a strained, almost high-pitched tone, contrasting heavily to his stern, manly face. In any other circumstance, it would’ve been hilarious.

“Holy sh-... I-I’m sorry,” he stammered, pulling the door shut with a snappy, quick swing, speaking entirely through the wooden barrier thereafter, “I should’ve knocked… Sorry.”

His sentence was punctuated by a set of footsteps as he hurriedly made his way down the hall to his own room.

Sana turned her head to look at Dahyun, who was still staring at the door, frozen.

“,” Sana muttered, and Dahyun gave a slow nod in response.

“I didn’t know he was coming home this early…”

“We should probably get dressed and go talk to him, huh?”

Dahyun nodded, and Sana slipped out from under her girlfriend. Unconsciously, the older girl gathered Dahyun’s clothes first (noting with a slight grin that her had somehow ended up precariously draped over the edge of one of the TV corners). She then began dressing Dahyun, who begrudgingly complied. Under normal circumstances, the brunette would have protested and insisted on doing it herself (never mind that it would take twice as long), but in her shell-shocked state, she remained quiet and compliant.

Once Sana had redressed Dahyun back into her sweater and jeans, she put her own clothes on. She then stood before her girlfriend, who was now sitting up against the wall beside her bed, staring off into space and chewing on her lower lip in nervousness.

Sana reached over and the side of Dahyun’s face, tickling at the younger girls cheek with the tips of her fingers.

“Relax, baby. It’s gonna be alright.”

“What if he doesn’t approve of it?” Dahyun turned her head and kissed Sana’s palm, using one of her own hands to hold the older girl’s.

    “Then I guess we’ll just have to break up.”

    The look of unabated despair and hurt that Dahyun produced in response caused Sana’s heart to swell, and she rapidly made amends for her thoughtless comment with three kisses on the forlorn brunette’s forehead.

    “I’m joking, Dubu, I’m just joking.”

    “This isn’t the time for joking,” Dahyun muttered, “Be serious.”

    “We’ll figure something out… this was bound to happen at some point. Maybe he’ll be completely accepting.”

    Dahyun didn’t respond, instead holding her arms out like a child, indicating to Sana that she wanted to be assisted into her wheelchair. Sana obeyed, carefully lowering her girlfriend from the bed onto the chair, buckling her in securely and placing her flaccid legs into the footrests.

    There was a cast of uncertain over the pair as they prepared themselves for the inevitable, awkward, and potentially disastrous conversation that awaited them outside. Dahyun sat still in her chair, allowing Sana to be the leader, pushing her toward the door before pausing for a moment as the older girl realized something.

    “Your hands are shaking…” Sana whispered, bending down to clasp Dahyun’s small hands within her palms. Simultaneously, she nuzzled the side of her face up against Dahyun’s, enjoying the warm sensation of their skin pressed together.

    “I’m so scared…” Dahyun was on the verge of tears, “I… I can’t lose you, Sana. You’re my everything.”

    Sana smiled sadly and held Dahyun tighter, rubbing her knuckles and providing as much contact as possible given the disjointed position they were in. The older girl understood Dahyun’s worry. Although she’d never say it, Sana knew that Dahyun’s life would be very empty without her. Now, this wasn’t to say that Sana’s life wouldn’t be empty without Dahyun, but given the emotional and physical fragility of her girlfriend, she knew that it would be disastrous for them to split apart.

    “Listen,” Sana whispered, “If your dad was actually furious about what he saw today, he would have flipped out, and probably kicked me out of your house. Did you hear what he said? He apologized to us for walking in. That’s gotta mean something. It might be a little weird at first, but truly believe we’ll be okay.”

    Dahyun turned to her girlfriend, an expression of fractured, blooming hope playing on her features.

    “Do you mean that? Do you really think so?”

    “Yeah, I do. Now come on, let’s go talk to him.”

    Sana gave Dahyun a kiss on the temple before straightening up, opening up the bedroom door, and stepping out.

    They moved through the hallway and into the living room as time sluggishly chugged on around them. Sana took deep breaths through her nose, keeping herself calm and ignoring the doubt and anxiety that threatened to consume her. She had to be strong, for Dahyun’s sake.

When they stepped into the living room, Dahyun’s father was sitting on the couch, watching television. By the way he reacted when they walked in, it seemed that he was waiting for them to come out. To Sana’s immediate relief, there wasn’t a trace of anger on his face, and his eyes (those same eyes that Dahyun had) were curious.

Sana stood behind Dahyun as they arrived, holding the handles of the wheelchair and racking her brain to think of something to say. She stared down at the floor, unwilling to make eye contact until she was able to speak. Unfortunately, her mind refused to cooperate.

“Me and Sana are dating.”

Surprisingly, it was Dahyun who spoke first, her tone stoic and strong, the polar opposite of the withdrawn, worried girl that Sana had seen moments before.

Dahyun’s father gave a slow nod in response, leaning back onto the couch and letting out a sigh.

“How long has this been going on?” he asked, peering up at Sana now.

“About three years,” Sana’s voice, unlike Dahyun’s, was meek and low, “Since I was in eighth grade.”

The older man gave another nod before speaking.

“I figured something was going on between the two of you,” he said, stunning them both, “But I never expected… that.”

“Mr. Kim, I’m so sorry,” Sana piped up, “We-we thought that you wouldn’t be home until later, and we… I don’t know… I…”

“That’s alright Sana,” Mr. Kim replied, cutting the blonde off before she could continue to stammer uselessly, “Just… try to lock the door next time, please? And be safe? I really am not sure about the whole intricacy of it, but whatever measures you need to take to be safe, do that. You don’t need to explain it to me. Please.”

“Next time?” Sana asked, cocking her head to the side in confusion, “So you’re okay with us being together?”

“Well, not in the sense that I’m now very aware that my daughter is ually active,” Mr. Kim said with an awkward chuckle, “But it’s something all teenagers go through. It was inevitable. But when it comes to you two dating, it just makes sense. You’ve always been inseparable. I don’t have a problem with it. Seeing as how you’ve always taken care of my Dahyun.”

The older man gave a wide smile to his daughter, who smiled back in response. It was as if Sana was looking at some kind of weird, gender-bending, age-altering reflection.

“Thank you, Mr. Kim,” Sana gave a short bow, “Thank you so much.”

“You’re the best, dad,” Dahyun said before turning to her girlfriend, “I told you we had nothing to worry about.”

Sana rolled her eyes and laughed.

“Does your father know about this, Sana?” Mr. Kim asked.

“Well, uh, no,” Sana said shamefully, “He does not. We’ve kinda kept it a secret from you guys both…”

“Well, now that I know, maybe you should tell your father as well,” he said gently.

“I don’t know…” Sana mumbled, her feeling mixed and uncertain.

Her father, unlike Dahyun’s father, was much more stern. While he was a kind man, there was more of a chance for him to react negatively to the whole situation. But it was only right for him to know, now that Dahyun’s father did. In all honesty, however, anger was Sana’s preferred reaction from her father. The alternative was disappointment and sadness, the type that reflected the visceral pain that the man had endured since losing his wife, the kind that would break Sana’s heart into a million pieces upon seeing. This prospect chilled her to her core.

Dahyun, as if sensing the hesitance in her girlfriend, reached back and took Sana’s hand in hers.

    “We can tell him together,” Dahyun said, “He’ll understand. I know he will.”

    Sana looked down at her girlfriend, who was wearing a reassuring smile, one that created a blossom of positive emotion within the unsure older girl.

    “Alright,” Sana decided, turning her gaze to look at Mr. Kim with a newfound confidence, “We can go tell him right now, then.”


I continue to neglect studying for writing... it's eventually gonna come back to bite me in the , but for now, whatever, haha.

Thanks for reading<3

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