Pluviophile (n)- a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.
It was raining today.
The clouds were a dark grey, a flash of lightning lite up the skies occasionally as the rain fell harshly hitting the the few wondering bodies in the streets of Itaewon. A low sigh left passed Dariya's lips while she leaned on the countertop watching people scatter by her jobs windows.
As usual around this time, Cafe Sweet Aroma which was both a bakery and coffee shop, wasn't particularly busy and with the weather being a rainy one, she doubt many more customers would come in. She didn't mind either way, considering that her shift was almost over. In 20 minutes she would be free to clock out and go straight home to her cozy small apartment.
She had landed this job rather quickly after seeing an ad for a new hire. At first she was super nervous since she felt like her being a foreigner would lower her job opportunities but Mrs. Park quickly dismissed that idea from her mind. The middle aged woman sat with her for only 30 minutes getting a feel of what kind of person Dariya was and before the interview was up, hired the pretty brown skinned girl quickly.
She liked how well spoken but sweet Dariya was, not to mention she had a degree to back up her skills which was ironically what Mrs. Park was looking for. Dariya seemed to perk up a little more when she found out she wouldn't be the only foreigner working here. In fact she would be the third one along side Cassey who was a very down to earth caucasian girl from Cali and London, the easily lovable but no nonsense Latina from Puerto Rico.
All three girls instantly clicked upon the first time they met Dariya. Although not knowing her full story, they never seemed to pressure her understanding that some things just take time.
Dariya fell right into sync with everyone else as if she had been there more than a few weeks. It was a place she could showcase her love for baking while interacting with people, something her parents encouraged her to do quite a bit when they were alive.
She knew that they would be proud of how far she's come since the day she lost them.
"Dariya-ssi?" Akeno's deep, calm voice snapped her out of her daze as he came to stand next to her. She glanced up at the taller, handsome male, their eyes locking like magnets. "Noona wants you to put the rest of these on display. After you're done you can clock out." He informed her, placing a tray of assorted chocolate covered strawberries on the counter.
Akeno being Mrs. Park's nephew, worked at the bakery from time to time when he had time to spare from his job in the big corporate world. He was an highly intelligent man with a hard exterior and not so approachable vibe about him but that never stopped Dariya from indulging in conversation with him a few times. She found him to be interesting, despite how intimidating he could be.
The two had developed a mutual respect for one another. Akeno found an unexpected keen liking to her and although he wouldn't admit it out loud, actually enjoyed being in her comfortable presence.
"Alright." She nodded, tearing her gaze away from his solemn brown orbs and briefly focused on the red apron that covered parts of his black button up and slacks. It was rare that she has ever seen him without a suit on.
Akeno watched her closely, opening his mouth to ask her something but quickly thought against it. "Have a good evening then." He said instead, leaving her to do her task all while chastising himself for not asking what he truly wanted.
Dariya watched him disappear to the back from the corner of her eye, a small smile tugging at her lips before pulling back the glass door to place the strawberries in the right place. She was starting to feel like there was type of unspoken attraction between them that neither was bold enough to verbally acknowledge.
Just as she closed back the display, the sound of the bell dinged signaling a customer. Dariya looked around for someone else to help whoever it was but spotted no one. She was so close to finally leaving after a ten hour shift.
Standing up, she put on a genuine smile and walked towards the cash register where a man stood, looking up at the menu behind her. She took in his dark hair that was slightly wet, along with his casual attire. She didn't know why, but the black mask that covered his mouth and nose sparked something within her brain...and when her eyes connected with his she immediately knew exactly who he was.
Her movements stopped briefly, something Sejun noticed, smiling a bit when he too remembered her as the beautiful girl from the bus a few nights ago. "W-welcome to Cafe Sweet Aroma, how may I help you today?" She stuttered, speaking in fluent korean, wiping her now sweaty hands on her apron.
Sejun's eyebrows lifted slightly hearing her speak his native tongue so effortlessly. "One Mocha and rice crispy treat." He ordered once he fully removed the mask from his face. His voice was pleasant to her ears. Dariya unknowingly bit her bottom lip, pulling her eyes away from him to take his order. She honestly didn't think that she could ever get use to seeing how attractive he was.
"That'll b-" She went to say only to stop once she saw him holding out his card for her to take. Without another word, she took it, quickly swiping the shiny plastic before handing it back to him along with his receipt. "Give me a minute." She told him, making brief eye contact to see him nod his head in response.
Sejun found himself in a trance, watching her make his beverage like the pro she was. He admired her slim frame in a cream off the shoulder sweater and slightly tight jeans that hugged her evident womanly curves perfectly. A small smile formed on his face taking in the two bunned hairdo she sported which he felt suited her just right. It was something she turned to when her natural hair just didn't want to cooperate. She was shorter than him, coming up to only meet his chest.
He knew that her rich skintone made her stand out from most people in South Korea but it was something he found the most beautiful about her. Even on a gloomy day such as today, she still had that vibrant glow.
She was absolutely mesmerizing.
Dariya could feel his eyes watching her every move but she was confident in what she was doing because she was in her eliminate. Once she was done making his drink, she picked out one of the biggest rice crispy treats she could find, placing the sticky treat on a small saucer and carefully slid his order in front of him.
"I hope you enjoy it." She said sincerely, especially considering that she was the one made the treats along with the cupcakes today.
She watched him smirk at her (unintentionally) heart design before he took a quick picture of it.
Sejun silently thanked her and turned to leave with his things in his hands until an idea popped in his mind. "Do you mind sitting with me for awhile?" He asked, turning to face her. Although he knew he couldn't stay out long, he at least wanted to have some type of conversation. The feeling of getting to know her was strong.
For a split second she was surprised by his request but she figured he just wanted some company which she didn't mind providing. Sadly as soon as she went to accept his offer the bell sounded off again indicating new customers.
"You go ahead, we got this." Mark spoke up from out of nowhere, while Daehyun did her the honor of clocking her out on the register. The two boys looked back and forth between Sejun and her with a playful glint in their mischievous eyes. She knew that they would not only throw numerous questions her way later on but run their mouths to Cassey and London as always.
Shaking her head, she removed her apron and followed Sejun once she walked from behind the counter. The two quietly sat at a lone table near the back, away from possible onlookers for his sake. The last he needed was a fan spotting him with someone other than s, especially if that person was a woman.
Dariya found herself playing with her fingers as a comfortable silence fell between the two. She was a bit nervous and he could tell but he knew it wasn't because of who he was. He had concluded that the first time they came across each other on the bus, which was probably one of the reasons he had such an interest in her.
It wasn't as if she was the first foreigner he had came across, not at all but he couldn't deny that there was just something about her. It was the exact unknowingly same feeling that she shared about him.
"Where are you from Dariya?" He questioned in English, finally breaking the silence. Her eyes widened at how he knew her name when she never told him but remembered she did have her name tag attached to her apron.
"Dallas, Texas." She answered, clearing her suddenly dry throat. Her eyes finally found his, not surprised that he was already staring at her.
The southern twang in her voice was evident from those two words alone. Cute.
"What made you move all the way across the world?" Though he knew it wasn't his business, he was very curious about what her story was.
Dariya could feel her heart swell a bit at the thought of her parents. Their passing was still very fresh on her mind even though they passed seven months ago. The three had made plans to move here right after her graduation from Culinary Arts school but clearly it was a journey that she had to take alone. The hurt she felt was spread across her face causing Sejun to become more alert and worried. "I-i'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked that." He apologized quickly.
"No, it's fine. I...just had to get away for awhile is all." She answered him half truthfully. In a way she did feel the need to leave, her family understood her plan and respected it. She had no clue how long she planned on staying but until she figured it out, South Korea was her new home.
Sejun nodded his head, understanding her words even if she was hesitant to answer. He could easily tell there was more to it but knew it wasn't his place to push for more. She was easy to read and because of that he respected the boundaries she had put up without even realizing it.
His mind scrambled for what else to ask, not wanting to anything to basic like her favorite color or tv show. All he knew was that he loved hearing her voice.
"Sejun...." Her tone was somewhat like a melody but she still remained very soft spoken.
"I like that." He admitted, taking a sip of his now cooled Mocha, relishing the taste.
Her eyes followed his tongue as he his lips clean, something that he of course caught. "The way you say my name. It sounds...nice." It wasn't the exact words he wanted to use but it was close enough.
Dariya could feel her cheeks heat up, a shy smile finding it was on her face. She found the way she was currently acting weird because no one has ever made her feel like whatever this was. Her fingers itched just to poke at those dimples just for the sake of it.
Sejun went to say something but the sound of his phone went off in his jackets pocket. "Aishhh." He murmured before pulling out the device and answering it. Dariya watched him talk to whoever was on the other line, not really paying any attention what was being said. She sat there taking in his side profile as he looked towards the cafe windows, giving her the perfect view of sharp jawline.
She couldn't help but to chuckle to herself at how ridiculous she was being.
Once his conversation was over with, he hung up sighing loudly. "I have to head out." He said lowly, hating the fact his break was cut short. There was still so much he wanted to know about her and he wasn't sure when he'll get another chance.
Dariya hummed in response, not quite ready for him to go either. "Well stop by whenever you have time. You might find me here."
He made a mental note to do just that whenever he had time to spare but he that with upcoming events he would barely have time to do anything. He quickly gulped down his drink, pushing back the burn inside of his throat. Wrapping up his treat in some napkins, he put it inside of his jacket and stood up from his seat.
"Are you free tomorrow night?" Even with a busy schedule, he just had to see her again, even if he had to break curfew to do it.
"Yes." She answered instantly.
"Meet me near Banpo Bridge around 9:30." He instructed her, handing her his phone to put her information into it. She quickly tapped at the buttons, locking her number in before handing it back to him.
"I'll be there." She promised, waving by to him as he made his exit, placing his mask back over his face. She watched him until he disappeared from her view completely. Gathering up his dishes she walked towards the counter where Mark and Daehyun were waiting with smiles that she felt were a little too big.
"I didn't know you had a thing for idols Riya." Mark teased throwing her off guard.
Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion as the words left his mouth. Both boys looked at each other for a second then at her in surprisement.