The roar of the crowd filled Sana’s ears as she finished lacing up her spiked running shoes. She tried not to think about the sheer amount people that filled the stands, about all the eyes that were on her and her teammates, about the cameras that would soon be tracking her every movement. She tried not to think about the fact that she was about to be up against some of the the fastest high school runners in the entire country (never mind that she was one of them, and that her times were comparable, if not better, than most of theirs). There were many other girls on the field beside her, and some of the slower heats were already racing. The 200m hurdle race’s final heat was about to start, meaning that the blonde’s race was coming up next: the 100m dash.
Sana sought that “honed-in” state that she frequently took on prior to her races, one in which her mind went all but blank, and her body prepared for the all-out effort it would require to win her event. However, she found that, in the face of this many people, this sea of faces that all peered in her direction, faces that would soon be pointed at her and the seven other girls competing against her, she had no way to focus. felt try, her limbs felt shaky, and she was filled with an unfamiliar, cold sense of dread. What if she made a fool of herself here? Here, in front of hundreds of people (not to mention the people that would be watching from home).
She sat on the turf field, allowing the sunshine to beat down onto her skin, the breeze tickling at her ponytailed hair as she tried to focus on her breathing, to ignore her surroundings and shift her attention elsewhere. She closed her eyes, ignoring the sharp “bang!” of the starting gun as it kicked off the first heat of 100m dash runners. For a few fleeting moments, she was able to sit there and think about absolutely nothing, her mind calm and clear as she regarded the inviting darkness of the backs of her eyelids.
Then, she felt a sharp tap on her shoulder, one that brought her careening back to reality within seconds. She reluctantly opened her eyes, glancing up to see her teammate, Chaeyoung, bent over and looking worried.
“You okay, Sana?” she asked, “Our heat’s up soon. Just four more heats to go.”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” the older girl lied, getting to her feet and shaking out her limbs, “How’d Tzuyu end up doing in the hurdles? I was kinda lost in my own world for a bit there.”
“Oh, she came in first, of course,” Chaeyoung said fondly, a smile dominating the short-haired girl’ features, “Just like you’re gonna do right now.”
Sana rolled her eyes.
“Don’t put that kind of pressure on me, I’m already ting myself as it is.”
“I can tell. But you don’t have anything to worry about,” the younger girl gave Sana a comforting pat on the shoulder, “You always do great.”
“Usually, yeah,” Sana admitted, “But I don’t have my good luck charm around today. I’ve never raced without her watching.”
Chaeyoung sighed and turned to peer at the crowd, as if doing so would conjure up Sana’s missing girlfriend.
Normally, Dahyun would be present, right up against the fence, screaming her lungs out, so much so that would be sore for the next couple days. She would sometimes even draw signs that she would hold up for her girlfriend, and as dorky as Sana thought it was, she never ceased to appreciate it. And, at the present moment, she had never missed it more.
“I’m not holding it against her or anything, she had a doctor’s appointment,” the blonde added quickly, “But… , I wish she was here.”
“Aw, it’s okay, I’m sure she’s rooting for you right now in that doctor’s office,” Chaeyoung said, a new, wider smile coming upon her features, her attention still focused on the crowd directly adjacent to the track, “Maybe you should check your phone to see if she wished you good luck?”
Sana gave her friend a brief expression of suspicion as she fished her phone out of her drawstring bag.
Sure enough, there was a single unopened text, from three minutes ago.
“From Dubu: Look over by the starting line.”
Sana turned, her gaze resting upon the exact location her girlfriend had requested, her heart swelling with joy as she realized who was sitting there. It was Dahyun herself, seeming very disheveled and rushed, a big smile on her face as she waved her arms above her head, threatening to tumble out of her wheelchair. Luckily, Yerim and Sooyoung flanked her, both girls appearing just as out of breath as Sana’s girlfriend.
When Dahyun realized that Sana had seen her, she stopped cheering for a second and frantically began typing something out on her phone, motioning for Sana to regard her own device once she’d finished up.
As the starting gun sounded off to signal the start of the second-to-last 100m dash heat, Sana received another text.
“From Dubu: I rushed here as quickly as I could after the doctor’s. Yeri almost killed me and Sooyoung while driving, she’s so reckless… I’m so happy I made it just in time. Good luck, my love<3”
Sana could feel the tears starting to form in her eyes as she stowed her phone away. There was no time to respond to the text, as Chaeyoung was now urgently pulling at Sana’s shirt, pleading with her to hurry up and get ready.
The blonde gave her girlfriend one last look as she marched into her designated position (lane 3, the lane reserved for the fastest person in the heat). Dahyun quickly blew Sana a series of kisses, and the older girl could practically sense each one landing on her, filling her body with an invigoration that made her face heat up in a blush, her muscles preparing themselves for the all-out exertion they were about to experience.
“Runners, take your mark!” the announcer called.
The competitors crouched over, setting themselves into the proper positions. Sana looked down at the rough material of the track below her, the image of Dahyun’s smiling face ingrained in her mind.
The starting gun fired, and Sana took off, determined to make her beloved, devoted girlfriend proud.
Dahyun lay in bed, the side of her face pressed to her girlfriend’s bare s as she drifted in that half-awake, half-dreaming state. Their room was comfortably quiet, the only sound coming from the mild hum of electricity.
“You still awake, Dubu?” Sana asked in a low voice, one that sent warm sparks through Dahyun’s head and neck.
“Mhm...” Dahyun murmured in response.
“I’m sorry for dragging you out in the snow today,” the older girl said sheepishly, “And for making you hang out with my friends. I know you wanted to relax and stay home.”
“It’s really okay, Sana,” Dahyun shifted so that she was able to give her girlfriend a kiss on the cheek, “We can do what you want sometimes, too. You don’t always have to compromise the things you wanna do for me, you know.”
“What? It’s not like that,” Sana said, taken aback, “Dubu, I never feel like I’m compromising with you. Why would you say that?”
“You know why…” Dahyun shamefully tried to hide her face in Sana’s cleavage, though the blonde pushed her head back up with a gentle tap of the chin.
“Aw, baby,” Sana gushed, holding the younger girl tighter and running her hands over Dahyun’s shoulder blades, “I’ve told you a million times. Taking care of you isn’t work to me. The flaws you have, and everything that comes with them… it’s all part of who you are. And I love you. Every part of you. So stop feeling so guilty about it, as if you’re a burden to me in some way. Because you’re not. In fact, sometimes I feel like you’re the reason I get up in the morning.”
Dahyun lay there, speechless, half-open, her eyes rapidly filling with emotionful tears.
“Dubu?” Sana asked, drawing back in an attempt to get a better look at her girlfriend, “Did you fall asleep?”
“No,” Dahyun replied, finally snapping out of her trance, the tears having spilled out onto her cheeks now, “I-I’m just trying to process what you told me.”
Sana chuckled and kissed the younger girl on her forehead.
“Really? I thought all that stuff was obvious by now.”
“I love you, Sana,” Dahyun finally said, the words falling from her lips and smacking the air with a heavy force, as if they’d been dying to escape from her lungs, “I love you with all my heart. You’re the best girlfriend I could ever ask for. You’re perfect, and everything I’ve ever wanted, and… and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
For several long, drawn out moments, there was silence. And then:
“Dubu… did you just propose to me?”
More silence as Dahyun took some time to try and gather her scattered thoughts.
“I think I did.”
The seconds passed by sluggishly, accompanied by the muted inhales and exhales of the two girls, small noises in the vastness of the dark surrounding them.
“I accept.” Sana finally said.
“I accept your proposal.”
“B-but, I don’t even have a ring for you!”
“You can buy one for me tomorrow,” the older girl said with a giggle.
“This isn’t a joke, Sana!” Dahyun whined, “This is serious! You can’t just make your decision so lightheartedly!”
“I can. Mainly because, I think it’s a decision I made a long, long time ago.”
Dahyun felt her indignance draining away as she captured her girlfriend’s face in her hands, kissing her hard.
The two lovers spent the remainder of the night together, talking about both nothing and everything at the same time, holding one another under the covers.
Outside, the snow continued to fall, flashing across the night sky like a million little stars, fluttering down to the earth as the hours passed.
Thanks for reading<3
Hope you enjoyed this story! I plan on writing more TWICE fics in the near future (: