Touching Beauty
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“I want you to know that it is not always easy to love me. That sometimes my chest is a field full of landmines, and where you went last night, you can’t go tomorrow. There is no manual, there is no road map, no help line you can call; my body does not come with instructions, and sometimes even I don’t know what to do with it. This cannot be easy. But still, you touch me anyway.”

—Ivan E. Coyote


“But why?” a high-pitched voice whines in the distance. Although people swarm Junmyeon and I from all fronts with their own chatter, this one voice is spectacularly loud and piercing. It permeates the air in the same way knives slice through butter. “I don’t understand!” the voice continues. “What? That makes no sense! Sehun!”


“Jongdae’s here.” Junmyeon pulls me along, and we bump into multiple other people before the source of the whining voice is especially close.


“You’re not funny!”


“And you’re stup—ow!” Sehun exclaims after the sound of slapping skin. “What the hell was that for? Why’d you hit me? It’s not my fault that Jongdae’s being dumb!”


“Respect your elders, and don’t embarrass me at my graduation.” Junmyeon’s voice is strained. His teeth must be gritting against themselves. “Jongdae,” he composes himself, “meet my girlfriend, Sunhee. Sunhee, meet my other best friend, Jongdae.”




Although my hand is outstretched towards his direction, he completely disregards it and pulls me forward in a hug. He’s skinnier than Junmyeon, but for an odd reason, his hug is tighter. It forcibly squeezes the air out of my lungs and renders my ability to breathe useless. There is nothing I can do against this. Say something? Again, my lungs can hardly choke out a word. Move? My arms and torso find themselves trapped in Jongdae’s embrace.


Luckily, Junmyeon comes to my rescue. “That’s enough, Jongdae,” he says. “Don’t do that.”


“Why not?” Jongdae’s voice noticeably falls in demeanor when Junmyeon pulls me away from his clutches. “I love giving people hugs.”


“Remember when you hugged that old woman and she had to go to the hospital because she thought you cracked her rib?” Sehun snorts, and just before his laughter falls into a rhythm, the sound of slapping skin interrupts him. “Ow! You’re a !”


“Why are you guys always indecent when I need you not to be?” Junmyeon sighs without reason. “Especially around my girlfriend.”


“It’s fine,” I reassure him, pulling at his sleeve. “Come on. It’s your graduation. Don’t stress. You said we were going to get lunch? Let’s go now.”


“Okay.” Junmyeon’s voice has that familiar smile in it again, and he wraps an arm around my shoulders. “But if you guys start acting like public humiliation was a person, we’re ditching you.”


“Talk about yourself,” Sehun scoffs. “I’m not the one wearing a god-awful graduation gown the same color of the sky. Gross.”


“What’s wrong with it?” Jongdae’s voice, while he may not intentionally mean it, is loud. Very loud. And I’m standing directly to him. “It’s such a pretty color! And I love the blue of the sky! It’s so mellow!”


Jongdae is a walking exclamation point the same color of the sun.


Junmyeon only sighs and walks me over to a certain direction. The voices of Sehun and Jongdae trail behind us—sometimes overlapping, sometimes not. But it is not quiet for a second. No space in between Sehun’s comments on passer-by clothing and Jongdae’s tendency to point out anything—from literal butterflies to cracks in the sidewalk.


“These are my friends.” Junmyeon sighs, but it turns into a chuckle. “While I am sorry for their behavior, I’m not sorry for them. They’re idiots, and right now, they’re losers, but they’re mine, and I don’t care.”


“They’re wonderful, don’t worry.” I laugh, walking closer to him if that’s possible. “So, Sehun’s an Assistant Financial Advisor—”


“Assistant to the financial advisor.”


“Right. So, what’s Jongdae?”


“He works for his parent’s daycare.”


“Really?” When my words escape my mouth, I immediately chase after them. “Not like that, of course, but wow, he really looks after children?”


“I’m shocked too.” Junmyeon snickers, and his breath trickles into my ear as he speaks in a low, unnecessary whisper. “Isn’t it strange that someone so childish and boyish like him could be trusted with children?”


“Yes,” I giggle and push him away, “he’s very energetic, but I’m sure he’s great with them. So, uh,” I hesitate, not knowing how to phrase my question, “can you describe him for me?”


With Junmyeon, there is no shyness or awkwardness when it comes to trivial matters such as these. If I ever have to wonder if his hair has been styled for the day or not, he leans over and allows me to run my hand in it for a few seconds. When there’s doubt in my mind regarding his placement on the couch, he doesn’t say a word when I run my hands on the side of his muscled torso. His body is an entirely different world in which I am the only explorer. The mountain range of his collarbones, the quicksand of his cheeks, the smooth expanse of his back—his allowance of physical contact has made it possible for me to sculpt an image of him in my mind.


However, the same cannot be said for other people.


Sehun, for example, remains an unknown figure. Junmyeon describes him to be a tall boy always dressed in the clothing of a man. His eyebrows are apparently dark and shaped, his nose is large, and his hair wears the same hue as a raven’s plume. With hulking shoulders and an imposing height, people have the habit of mistaking Sehun as mature and defined—when he really is quite the opposite. Most of the time, at least. The look of defiance and nonchalance mingles across his features in frequent parties. Junmyeon confesses that he misses Sehun’s smile from time to time.


But feeling the curves or lack thereof of a person is much different from being told about it.


“Jongdae,” Junmyeon doesn’t sense the awkwardness in my voice, “is known for his voice. His voice, people say, is the most defining quality about him. It’s high when he starts to whine, but in a normal tone, it’s a little comforting. Listen. When he’s moody, his voice quiets down, and it’s the sound of a beach when no one’s around except for you a crowd of waves. A voice worthy of audiobook narrations when you want a goodnight’s sleep. Oh, and when he sings. When he sings, you kinda just forget that you exist. His voice is that nice.


“People know him for his cheekbones too. In the right lightning, girls run up to him. Most of the time, they don’t even want his number. They want tips on how to make their contour look good as his. Then it’s his smile. He’s always smiling. Even in his sleep, there’s a smile on his face. Sometimes it gets creepy, but it’s not like I mind. His smile is a lot like yours—sunshine-y and soft, but a little more playful. He’s the same height as me, but he’s skinnier. He thinks he better with handling children than I am, and…he’s right.” Junmyeon stops there, right when his voice slopes downward.


“Are you okay?” I squeeze his waist as we continue walking, and his chest heaves in response.


“I’m the dull one,” he whispers. “Sehun’s practically a model, and I’m just me. Jongdae could bring Mariah Carrey to her knees with his voice, and people doze off when I talk to them since I’m so boring. Sehun has his—”


“Stop,” I whine, nudging his arm, “the self-depreciation. What are you talking about? You’re handsome in your own way, so don’t worry about Sehun. And really? You’re not boring. People just don’t like listening nowadays.”


“I don’t know, I—”


“You’re not dull. I’m blind, and I can still see you shine. Feel your brightness. Touch your beauty. Your handsomeness.” Before he can say anything degrading about himself, I stop him. Showering people in kind words is not the most effective way for them to understand the message. No, if you want people to know how much you care, you can’t just tell them. You have to show them. But there are instances such as now where words are the only resort. “You have your own type of luster, Jun. Don’t worry about others.”


“Thank you, Sunhee.” Junmyeon sighs against the top of his head. “I appreciate you saying that.” Although he doesn’t specifically say anything, it’s not hard to tell that I’ve only scratched the surfaces of his deep-rooted insecurity. “You’re so beautiful, you know that? When you smile, sunshine gets jealous.”


“Oh, god.” I groan and push him away. “Why do you have to ruin everything with saying stuff like that?”


“What?” Junmyeon grabs me back into his arms, and he encases me with all that he is. “I’m not ruining anything. It’s you. This is the part where you’re supposed to kiss me and say that I’m such a wonderful boyfriend. The part where you look at me with those eyes. Come on, Sunhee. Kiss me. Kiss me. Kiss—”


The best way to get him to stop running his mouth is to kiss him, so I lean my head backwards and press my lips against his jawline. In an instant, all the words that fell from his mouth in a waterfall freeze over completely. There’s a million varieties of what he looks like now. Does he look like a beautiful idiot with his mouth ajar? Like The Scream? Does he look a lottery winner with his eyes like lightbulbs? Does he look blank, his face so shocked he looks calm? A million things he can be, and I’ll never see. Only imagine.


Still, a girl can hope the boy she kisses feels the same tingles on his lips when she presses hers against his. Reciprocation is an everlasting pleasure of the world. It’ll never get old: the way when two people meet each other in the middle of their routes with the same present.


“Why are you quiet now, Jun?” I hum in hopes of exciting words out of him. His heartbeat behind me is strong at the same it is delicate.


“Because my cheeks are the brightest shade of red right now.”


“How red?”


My hand flies up to his cheek, and they’re plump and balled up; he’s in the middle of a smile. In the middle of celebrating summery heatwave too—they’re warm.


“You’re so cute,” I laugh. “You should keep doing this more often.”


“You wish,” he mutters. “You wish.”


“Hey!” Jongdae’s voice pierces through the air from ahead of Junmyeon and me. “Stop making out already! We’re hungry! Hurry up!”


“Ah,” Junmyeon releases me from his grip, “we should go. He gets louder when he’s hungry.”


“Louder? How?” Although I ask that, something tells me that maybe it’s better not to find out.



- - - - -



“You’re blind?” Jongdae’s gasp is too loud, and it sounds almost as if it’s been exaggerated, but he’s Jongdae. The average scale for loudness doesn’t apply to him. “What? Really? I didn’t even notice! Wow! That’s so cool! You know, there’s this kid at my daycare, and he’s blind too! He knows how to read Morse code—”


“Braille,” Sehun corrects. “You can’t read Morse code. You can only hear that.”


“That’s still cool!” Jongdae accidently kicks the table, and it shakes with him. “How did you meet Junmyeon?”


“At the bakery I work at—”


“You work at a bakery? Wow!”


“We get it, Jongdae.” Sehun’s voice is even and fara

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Touching Beauty //
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I remember reading this years ago… and now I’m rereading. It feels like one of the studio ghibli movies you know… all the softness and world building where each movement is felt? And your writing always amaze me
This story is so soft🥺❤️
sb1202 #2
Its been a while since I read this but I just wanted to comment on how beautiful this story is. Not only does it feature one of the less written about members, but it also touches on a more realistic relationship. From the first chapter, I fell in love with the characters and the setting of the story. Thank you for writing something so breathtaking ❤
Chapter 7: 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

This is so freaking beautiful, fgs. I swear it’s so beautiful that it could be showed in the museum.

Despite their relationship, I LOVE LOVE that you do not left the other ones behind. The way you always give us what was going on in their life, how was Joanne love life, how Jongdae getting voice lesson and getting one step closer to his dream, how Sehun saved up and working his off for a revenge, how she developed her friendship with Sehun or how Sehun need to talk with Jongdae due to his complain. These detail I LOVE IT ALL.

Thank you for amazing story as always ❤️❤️❤️
Chapter 5: I confess that I cracked at girl running to Jongdae asking for contour tip lol

but wow , that 'i'm blind and I can still see you shine' T---T you know what, I think the most adorable thing in this chapter is Junmyeon "still" explain to her how thing is going, including his blushing.

The friendship between those thee are also beautiful TT I hope everyone got friends like this ♥

but damn, I need to say this, you are such an amazing writer. Your style of writing suite the story so so well no matter what genre / vibe / feel it is.
Chapter 4: Not only Junmyeon, this story is dangerous too.
If I had diabetes, I would end up at the hospital when I finished this
Chapter 3: PLEASEEEEEE The way his describe kissing when he asked her 😭😭😭😭😭😭 and he was so polite. I didn’t expect him to ask at all

And the way she feels like dying over this 😭😭😭😭
Chapter 1: WOW 😯 I regret that I come here so late.

Ok, this is my super first time reading the story that the main character is blind. I love that the idea is not what we can easily find, and her character is not in the dark mode. She is being.. accept(?) and positive with a tint of sarcasm that give her character more color and that is really amazing. Even we could not “see” Junmyeon (of course how could we, it’s her point of feeling - pof) i literally feel his struggle to make a conversation with the pretty cashier he found a t the bakery 😭 gosh, isn’t that cute?
Chapter 7: This story was so beautiful. Thank you for writing it!
danielaerimee #9
Chapter 5: Love the word reciprocity now. Thank you.
waee09 #10
Chapter 3: My heaaarttttttt. Omgggggg soooo beautifully writttennnn