Falling Apart

Falling Without You

Seulgi still thinks of Joohyun from time to time. There used to be hurt whenever she thinks of her but she can’t feel any of that anymore. She thinks it’s because she’s gained a lot of new memories (all which does not include her) that they’ve replaced the memories of what she felt about Joohyun. In simpler terms, memories fade, we forget things, and that is how we move on.

That’s what she has led herself to believe.

When in reality, it’s really just what she wants to achieve.

Maybe I don’t want to forget you. Maybe I want to remember.

-----

It’s been a little over a month since she moved to Gangnam. She got a good offer as a Graphic Designer so she grabbed the opportunity immediately. She is currently on her way to a coffee shop, walking along a rather quiet street near her workplace.

Well, in Korea, along with being new and young comes unnecessary responsibilities such as buying coffee for the rest of the team in which new joiner Seulgi is tasked to do before she heads to work. She doesn’t mind. Being in this place with a wonderful job, she thinks she’s living the dream.

Except maybe it really is a dream when one morning she saw Joohyun heading to the same coffee shop from the other direction. The moment they locked eyes, it’s like time stood still for Seulgi. It is next to impossible that Joohyun could get anymore prettier when she’s already at the highest pedestal before but being the ethereal goddess she already is, she went against all odds.

The gawking girl thinks Joohyun holds the universe in her gaze and, once again, Seulgi has lost herself in it. Once again, she finds herself swimming in the sea of stars that twinkles in Joohyun’s eyes. Once again, she willingly surrenders everything just so she can drown.

And she did.

Even with the distance, Seulgi worries Joohyun might hear her loudly pounding heart. To seize her worries, she ends the staring game and heads to the door. She opens it, steps inside the café, then she looks back and holds the door open for the other girl.

“Coming in?” She tries to nonchalantly say. In a way, she knows it’s not just the door that she has unlocked but also herself as she lets Joohyun back into her life.

“Yes.”

-----

She found out that the intern in Joohyun’s workplace quit so being the now youngest and newest (like Seulgi) in the team, she’s now the coffee errand girl every morning. The coffee in Red Velvet Café apparently is one hell of a kind that both teams prefers this over any other coffee shop in town which means Joohyun every week day morning for Seulgi.

She faintly hears a giggle coming near her during one of their morning errands.

“What?” She asks the approaching girl while looking at her reflection in the coffee shop window. Joohyun smiles as she takes the seat next to Seulgi. “Nothing. I just find it funny how a non-coffee drinker is always tasked to buy coffees.” She scoffs and turns to face Joohyun. “Well, I can always order chocolate for myself. Besides, you used to be a non-coffee drinker too.”

“Yeah. But I’ve learned to accept the bitter taste.” Joohyun replies as she takes a sip in her cup. “You can always put in sugar or cream to sugarcoat the bitterness.”

There were a few seconds of silence until Seulgi blurts out a response. “Like life? Uhm. What kind of Korean Drama is this?” Joohyun giggled as she punches Seulgi’s right arm. “You ruined it! NG! Ugh!”

Seulgi smiles as she stares at the still laughing girl. She admires the view in front of her. Her heart feels giddy at how the corners of Joohyun’s lips are tugged upwards, how her eyes curve and disappear, or how soft and alluring she laughs, or how she stirs up feelings inside Seulgi just by being like this. She can make everyone fall just by existing.

She laughs as well. She finds it funny how she learned love from a person who never loved her back. It’s was never about her happiness but Joohyun’s. Loving Joohyun is a never-ending cycle of pain that she is willing to endure over and over again. And it’s because of moments like this, moments where she can see Joohyun happy and content, that she thinks she’s worth every pain and worth every tear.

-----

They’ve been awfully spending a lot of time together and today isn’t any different. Seulgi agreed to let Joohyun join her as she shops for few more clothes that she badly needed to add in her corporate wardrobe.

While taking a break, they decide to hear the pleads of their complaining stomachs.

“Hello, ladies. I’m Jinyoung, your server for today.” The handsome lad approaches with a seductive grin plastered across his face. He subtly looked at both girls until his gaze stayed at Seulgi’s face. “Have you decided what to order yet?”

“Yes. I’ll have one order of Bibimbap.” Joohyun flatly says before looking at the server. She notices the guy isn’t even being subtle about gawking at the other girl. Seulgi was still viewing the menu, unaware of the attention she’s being given.

“I think I’ll have the same thing.” Seulgi states as she closed the menu to look at the Jinyoung. Upon eye contact, the guy’s smile grew even wider displaying charming eye smiles that Joohyun was sure had captivated lots of girls before. “Noted on that. Anything else?” He says as he purposely tries to make his voice seductive which earned an eyebrow raise from Joohyun. “Nothing else.”

“Okay then. I’ll be back with your orders.” Jinyoung smiles as he takes back the menus then winks at Seulgi before he turns around to head back to the counter. The encounter made Seulgi laugh and Joohyun frown.

“He was flirting with you.” Joohyun says as she glares at the waiter’s back from where they are seated. “Yeah, he was.” Seulgi replies while continually laughing. “You like it.” Joohyun scoffs at the other girl’s behavior. “I don’t, Joohyun.” Seulgi says as she releases another round of giggles which she tried to contain but to no avail.

“Then why are you like that?” The pale girl questions as she gives a light jab to the taller girl’s shoulders. “Because you think I like him.” Seulgi exclaims as she displays her infamous crescent eye smiles to the other girl. “And why is that so funny?” The older girl cluelessly says as she creases her forehead because of how the taller girl is behaving.

“It’s because I’m gay, Joohyun.” She says as she releases another grin in front of the dumbfounded girl. Joohyun’s eyes widen before opening and closing a few times. With the lack of response, Seulgi’s lips then formed a thin line. “Disgusted?”

The other girl’s eyes became even bigger if that is even possible. “N-No! I’m just.. just surprised. I mean I never saw you interested in any person… any girl before.”

This earned a laugh from Seulgi.

I liked you. In fact, I still do. In fact, more than ever.

-----

Seulgi thinks it’s funny how easily Joohyun came back to her life. Just like that, she’s back to the pits of unrequited love. She’s in it once more with a hazy future of ever getting out. What the hell happened to moving on?

It’s true she’s forgotten a lot of her feelings towards Joohyun. However, it’s being replaced with more emotions that are probably even deeper than what she felt before. Seulgi wonders how much deeper can she continue to fall.

One thing is certain, you’ll never be there to catch me.

-----

“Joohyun, why?” Seulgi asks. They were cuddled in the couch of Seulgi’s apartment. It’s usual for them to drink a can or two while watching a movie on a Friday night.

She is met with Joohyun’s furrowed eyebrows, seeking clarification on what she meant.

“You… called me before. I never asked you. Can I ask now? Why?” Seulgi continues as she stares at the dark brown orbs that Joohyun owns.

Joohyun’s mouth opens and closes for a few times until she closes her eyes and heaves a sigh. “My exes were pressuring me to give myself. I didn’t want to.” She pauses perhaps due to the unwanted memory she is suddenly forced to reminisce. “It was hard. There was also peer pressure and everything.”

“Did you?” The thoughts of Joohyun’s ex-boyfriends luring Joohyun disgusts her to death. Joohyun chuckles as she turns her head from side to side. “Not to them.”

“With someone you like?” Seulgi wants to ask but the words never came out. Instead, another question pops up inside her head. “Why me?” She asks. The other girl’s eyes widen a little. “I mean… You have tons of friends. Why me?” Joohyun’s face shifts from surprised to apologetic in a few seconds.

She focuses on her delicate fingers as she fidgets with them. “Back then, everyone’s on the edge about losing them. I know you wouldn’t judge me. And I… trust you the most.” The last part was almost said as a whisper.

Seulgi catches it and her heart skips a beat upon knowing she was still Joohyun’s go to person during that time. “You never said anything whenever you called though.” Joohyun sighs and looks away. “After what I did, I thought I didn’t have the right anymore.”

Seulgi frowns. She’ll always be willing to help the other girl. “Did it help?” She remembers the phone calls which were actually filled with nothing but silence. “Hearing me breathe. Did I help ease your pain?” She grins as she attempts a joke.

“It did. Thank you for being there whenever I need you. Even if I didn’t do the same for you.”

Seulgi’s smile falters as she remembers. “Is it because I’m not good enough?” The look of pity is something she never liked even more so now that Joohyun’s the one showing it.

“What?”

“That’s why you did what you did before?”

Joohyun fidgets. She darts her eyes everywhere except Seulgi. “I… There was too much pressure to blend in. I-”

“You had far greater things to lose?”

Joohyun frowns before looking directly at Seulgi. “I wouldn’t phrase it like that.”

“Then how would you phrase it?”

Joohyun’s eyes fell to her hands. “We were so close. They were… questioning me when I don’t even.. I don’t even…” She pauses.

“Swing that way?”

“Y-yes. Our friendship back then… it’s something I really treasure. You were you and I’m me when I’m with you. I really enjoyed our time together but people were misunderstanding and I was afraid to be labelled something I’m not so... I kept going back and forth.”

Joohyun momentarily closes her eyes then opens them again along with a sigh escaping her lips. “Looking back, it was me who was not good enough. After doing all those, you’d always welcome me with open arms.”

There was silence right after. Joohyun looks at Seulgi while she waits for the other girl’s response. She was about to spit words of apology when, suddenly, Seulgi responds. “Let’s keep watching the movie.”

As the movie progresses, Joohyun keeps drifting her gaze from the movie to Seulgi. For the nth time, she releases a quiet sigh.

“It’s okay.” Joohyun nearly snapped her neck to look at the owner of the voice.

“It’s okay, Joohyun.”

Except it’s not. Seulgi wished Joohyun had let her know of the reason back then so Seulgi will be the one to distance herself from the other girl. Maybe if she did that Joohyun would never think she wasn’t good enough because Seulgi thinks, despite everything, that Joohyun’s always worth more than that.

You are always more than enough.

-----

It was Saturday night. Joohyun’s college friend and co-worker, Yongsun, is having her birthday at her place. Having been acquainted through Joohyun, Seulgi has been invited to the party as well.

Joohyun’s already at Yongsun’s place helping the other girl with the party preparations. She stops to call Seulgi who she knows is still probably indulging herself in her console games at the comfort of her apartment.

“Seulgi! Stop playing and get dressed already!” She shouts over the phone so she can overpower the gunshot sounds emitting from the other line.

“I’m almost done! Oh! Shi- I died! Ughhh!” Seulgi shouts as she plops down to her sofa. “Noooooooooooo! It’s your fault! Ughhhhhhhh. There goes my chicken dinner!” She hears Joohyun chuckle from the other line. “Serves you right!”

She huffs, gets back to seat, and ignores her statement. “I’ll be there on time, Joohyun.” The other girl hums before adding “Speaking of chicken dinner, bring something edible, okay?” since everyone decided to bring foods they could enjoy in the party.

“That’s why I’m bringing myself.” Seulgi smirks while she mentally pats herself for coming up with a witty reply and payback to the shorter girl for distracting her.

The other girl was left stunned for a few seconds before replying. “You’re one shameless !” She utters with a light pink dusted on her cheeks. Seulgi laughs out loud before adding yet another witty reply. “You’re pretty edible yourself, you know!”

This made Joohyun with agape blush furiously. “Why are you so red, Joohyun?!” Jennie, another one of Joohyun’s closest friends, says which Seulgi heard. “I’M NOT RED! You, Seulgi, don’t you dare come here anymore!” This promoted another round of laughter from the taller girl which left her catching her breath. “I can’t wait to eat later!” Seulgi says as she stood up and walked towards her closet after hanging up on a flustered Joohyun.

“You are so dead!” Joohyun shouts after the taller girl hanged up on her.

“You said she’s the one that’s dead. Why is the joke on us?” Yongsun asked when she saw Seulgi come in wearing skinny jeans and a cropped top.

“Girl got abs.” Jisoo, Yongsun’s guest, joined while gawking at Seulgi’s toned abdomen. Joohyun mentally agrees as she her lips while staring at the area the piece of clothing can barely cover. There it is, Seulgi’s abs out for the world to drool upon and the rest of the night for Joohyun to look at. Realizing this, she immediately cleared her thoughts and shook her head.

“So are we supposed to eat the pizza she brought or something else?” Jennie added. “Depends on which you find is more delicious.” replied Yongsun. They both earned a glare from Joohyun when she realized the implication. “May I remind you guys that we are not gay.”

Both girls laugh clearly amused at what Joohyun said. “Is it too late to explore other options?” Yongsun joked earning another glare from Joohyun with a much higher intensity. “YAH!”

Seulgi certainly didn’t die when she came to the party but she’s pretty much drowning with the amount of alcohol Yongsun forced them to consume. Her drunk is currently situated in the couch surrounded by the rest of the girls.

The group, composed of Yongsun, Jennie, Jisoo, Hwasa, Wheein, and Joohyun, is currently sharing stories from their campus days. Yongsun is telling the group about her adventures with Joohyun when they were still in the university. “Joohyun doesn’t really like going to clubs. I often need to bribe her with fab con just to get her to come!” Joohyun’s hisses rather loudly before she continuously jabs Yongsun’s arms. “That’s not true! She’s exaggerating.”

“Ouch! Okay, I am. Anyway, she’s such a pain in the to convince really.” Yongsun replies while shielding herself from the smaller girl. Joohyun retorts while making a face. “People kept hitting on me. It’s annoying.”

“Meanwhile, the rest of us likes the feeling. We’re down for a good dance floor grind and maybe some hot after.” The taller girl wittingly says which Joohyun returned with a disgusted face. “Shut up, Joohyun. Don’t act so innocent. You left us once for a stranger.”

Joohyun’s eyes widens a little too much. She glances at the passed-out girl too quickly before glaring at Yongsun. “I-I did not!” This earned a snicker from Yongsun. “Well, your turtle neck for the rest of the week says otherwise.” Joohyun rolls her eyes then crosses her arms. “Ugh. Looks like I’m never hearing the end of this. Fine but only just once.” This prompted Jisoo to join the teasing. “Dumb guy must be so hot for you to break your rules eh?”

Joohyun’s face was suddenly filled with red tint. She rolls her eyes. “Shut up!” She stands up and approaches Seulgi. “I’m gonna take her upstairs so she can sleep better.” The rest of the group complains with what Joohyun did to avoid the teasing. “Aishhhh, no fun!”

While climbing up the stairs, the rest of the group switches topic with Yongsun once again initiating. This time the topic is club names. “Club names?” Joohyun promptly hears Wheein reply. “You don’t have that? It’s our alias when we go clubbing so people won’t know our real names. We decided to use English names. I’m Solar. Our friend Yeri uses Katy. Chaeyoung as Rose, Lalice as Lisa. I forgot Joohyun’s. What is it again?” Yongsun turns to the occupied girl in the stairs.

“I don’t really remember.” The smaller girl replies casually. She hurriesly take Seulgi in one of the bedrooms. Holding the door knob of the bedroom door, she promptly hears Yongsun say to the rest downstairs, “I remember Joohyun’s! It’s-“ until the now closed door muffles the sound outside.

Seulgi stirs herself awake when Joohyun pushes a strand of her hair behind her ears. She found herself tucked underneath the blanket thanks to the other girl. She beams showcasing her crescent-like eye smiles.

She stares and stares.. and stares. And Joohyun stares back. She knows Joohyun could disappear every time like she did before. She could be tossed aside again. Alone once more in a world that is supposed to be shared with another person. Yet, at this moment, she was thankful Joohyun is with her. That’s all that matters.

“Thank you, Joohyun.”

She closes her eyes. Before she drifts to sleep, she remembers feeling soft lips on her temple.

——-

Seulgi wakes up with a massive headache. She groans at the bright beam reflected by the sun. She turns to the her back and found Joohyun sleeping on the other side of the bed.

She smiles.

After a few minutes of ogling at the other girl, she pushes herself to stand up and make her way to the kitchen. She was in the middle of drinking cold water when Yongsun erupted in the kitchen door. “Why aren’t you two together yet?” She turns to look at the newcomer. “Who?”

“Who else?”

She shakes her head to show her disagreement. “We are just friends.” The other girl approaches her. “Just friends don’t look at each other like that. She likes you.” Seulgi frowns. “Looks like what? She doesn’t even swing that way.”

“You never see the way she looks at you when you’re not looking at her.” Yongsun retorts. “How does she look at me?” The other girl softly replies with curiosity painted all over her face. The other sighs. “Like how you look at her. Like you put the stars to the sky.” The reply once again earned another head shake and sigh from Seulgi. “She’s straight, Yongsun.”

“Certainly not for you, Seulgi.” Yongsun says as she leaves.

Joohyun loving her back. The thought never occurred to her. She has been loving Joohyun alone for so many years. She was used to that. Then, suddenly, there’s a glimmer of hope in her dark days.

It scares her.

She’s afraid of loving her so much more than she does. She’s afraid of wanting something back from her that she knows Joohyun will not be able to give.

She knows Joohyun’s got a lot to lose. She’s a perfect daughter to her parents, a role model to her alma mater, a promising employee in her workplace. Anything less than perfection is shameful. There’s no room for same- feelings in this homophobic society.

She also knows. If Joohyun indeeds loves her back then Joohyun’s afraid. Very very afraid. She doesn’t want that. She doesn’t want Joohyun to ever be afraid of loving someone.

So she hopes it’s not true. She hopes she doesn’t love her back. She thinks she’ll be okay with Joohyun loving someone else if it means she can love freely. If she can be happy. Always.

I want you to be happy.

——-

“Irene!”

Joohyun halts her steps then snaps her head so fast at the direction of the voice. She is heading towards her apartment after purchasing groceries along with Seulgi when she heard a familiar yet foreign name being called. She is welcomed by a handsome young man brisk walking towards her. He stops just a few steps before Joohyun. “Do you remember me? I’m Bogum. We met at a bar a few years ago.”

Joohyun frowns as she tries to recall who this man could be. After pondering for a few moments, she settles for a lie instead. “Yeah. I do.” Bogum sighs in relief upon hearing this. “Good thing you still do. Do you live here?” Pretending to know the person you’re talking to isn’t really Joohyun’s strength but somehow, she’s relieved she’s able to push through right now. “Yes, I do. You?”

“I don’t. My sister lives here. I was actually on my way to work. I just happened to drop something off at her place. I’m glad I did.” He says with a blush forming on his cheeks. He looks at everywhere except Joohyun as he continues to speak. “I actually wanted to contact you after that night but you left so abruptly I didn’t get your number. I wonder if maybe one of these days is a good time to put the plan into action? I mean if you’re okay with that.”

The girl didn’t really like Bogum but doesn’t have the heart to outright reject him. Also, she wanted to end the conversation before a certain person arrives soon. “Okay.” After she gave her number, Bogum’s smile became a lot wider. “Great, then I will call you.”

Steps can be heard nearing them so both looked at the direction of the sound. They saw Seulgi who is on her way inside after retrieving her phone that she left in her car when they arrived from the supermarket. “Oh she’s that friend right? The one you took home that night?”

The question left the girl pale after the realization suddenly hit her. He met Bogum that very same night. The night she saw Seulgi again at a bar. “H-Huh? Ah.. Y-yeah.” Her heart suddenly starts to pound really hard after uttering those words.

She remembers bumping to Bogum on her way to bring out a drunk girl at the club and back to the girl's apartment. She remembers indulging in sins and fleeing the morning after. She remembers everything about that girl. How could she forget? It was an unforgettable night that no one has a memory about except her. However, she had hid it at the back of her head with the promise of never letting it out and never letting anyone know. It's a secret she'll forever keep.

Her thoughts were put to a halt when the incoming person stops at her side which made her jump in surprise.

“Hello! My name is Bogum. Nice to meet you.” The boy introduces his self along with an extended hand directed towards the recently arrived person. “Hi. I’m Seulgi.” She states as she accepts the handshake from the unfamiliar man. Joohyun dryly coughs in order to interrupt both sides. “Don’t you need to go? You’re gonna be late, Bogum.” She reminds him as soon as the handshake ends.

“Oh? Right. I need to go.” Bogum says as he places a hand at the back of his neck. He looks at both girls before lingering a little longer at Joohyun’s face. He sighs as he reluctantly leaves. “I’ll contact you. See you around, Ir-”

“See you around!” The small girl nervously interrupts as she tries to wave a little at the retreating figure. This prompted a question from Seulgi as she mistakes the action as enthusiasm and possibly attraction towards the yound lad. “Who was that?”

“Just someone I met before.” Joohyun clarifies as she turns and heads to her apartment. “You hooked up or something?” Seulgi faintly mumbles as she follows the older girl. “Did you say anything?” Joohyun turns around to look at Seulgi. She was sure the younger girl said something but she didn’t catch it. Seulgi looks at her then walks past her. “Nothing.” She replies monotonously.

Seulgi said she’s okay with Joohyun loving someone else. She said she doesn’t want her to love her back but lately this green-eyed monster’s been saying otherwise.

Jealousy. It’s a very foreign feeling to her long-time love for the smaller girl. She was never one to get jealous over Joohyun dating someone else. She was like that because she never thought of Joohyun liking her back or even herself being worthy of Joohyun’s love.

“She likes you.”

She thinks that statement ignited this fire that she’s been trying to extinguish lately without success. That thought has been echoing inside her head like a broken record. It’s a mantra she can’t get rid of.

It made her feel things she hadn’t felt before. Made her feel emotions she doesn’t want nor like.

Jealousy. Desire. Greed.

For the first time, she thought of what it feels like to hold Joohyun in her arms, to envelope herself underneath her warmth with every slumber, to wake up with bated breaths at the sight of her exhilarating beauty during mornings, and to finally be on the receiving end of her every “I love you”.

For someone who never wanted anything, the emergence of wanting everything- all of Joohyun and all she can offer- overwhelms Seulgi.

For the first time, she wanted more. So much more.

That’s never a good thing.

Is it okay for me to be selfish for once?

----

One day, she snapped. The emotions piled up and being new and afraid, she let it ignite a fire she can’t seem to extinguish within her.

“Hello?” Seulgi picks up Joohyun’s phone. She didn’t want to pry but the phone has been ringing for a while and Joohyun is nowhere in sight. The shorter girl must’ve left her phone on her way out. There was little food left on the fridge so she made a quick trip to the grocery to pick up some ingredients they could use for dinner. The caller was also an unregistered number which according to Seulgi’s experiences is a sign for emergencies.

“Oh, hey! It’s Bogum! I’ve been meaning to call a few times but I was skeptical. I was wondering if you’re free this Friday. Maybe we could have dinner or something.” Seulgi scrunches her nose as she hears the words of the man. She wants to hang up but didn’t want the man to view Joohyun as snobbish or anything negative. “I’m actually not Joohyun. She went out to buy something. She left her phone.” She politely replies.

She hears a gasp on the other end. “Joohyun? Is this not Irene’s number?”

“Irene?” Seulgi’s ears perk up upon the mention of the familiar name. She thinks she heard the name before. Her forehead creases as she tries to recall. “Who is-“ Then she remembers. She not only heard it but she screamed that name before. All night if she may add. She drops the phone to her surprise.

“Hello? Irene? Hello?”

Joohyun came inside the barely lit apartment shortly after sunset. She found Seulgi seated on the floor with hands hugging her knees. “Bogum called.”

Joohyun can feel her palms sweating as she places the bags of groceries on the floor. “O-oh. What did he say?” She heads toward the seated girl.

“He was looking for Irene.”

She halts her steps then looks down at her feet. “A-ah.”

“Is that you?”

“I... Uh... Y-yes. My alias when we go clubbing.” She whispers enough to be heard while still looking at her feet.

“Of course, the name I moaned when we slept together.” She snaps her head only to see Seulgi’s piercing gaze toward her. With enlarged eyes, she tries to say something. “Seulgi- I..“ She tentatively takes a step forward.

Seulgi stands and comes closer to Joohyun. “We... We did that. I couldn’t remember. But you do, right? You remember well no matter how drunk you are.” She shakes her head as she looks at the girl in question and holds her arm. “All this time you knew! Why didn’t you tell me that day?! Why? Tell me! You left like it’s nothing!”

Joohyun clenches her fists. She closes her eyes before she utters words she knows will hurt the taller girl. “What do you want me to say, Seulgi?! Oh, hey long time no see it was nice seeing you !”

Seulgi’s mouth opened wide. She can’t believe the words spewing out of Joohyun’s mouth. “We ed, Joohyun! We did! Us! You don’t girls, Joohyun!” She points accusingly. ”Tell me what it meant to you. Be honest. Why?” She said with the most desperate voice she can at the moment.

Joohyun can see the universe collide in the taller girl’s eyes. She bites her lower lip before replying. “We were drunk and , Seulgi! Why can’t you get it?! It could be with anyone. It could even be Bogum! It’s a ing one night stand! We were supposed to and move on!”

Seulgi’s heart breaks further with every word said by Joohyun but she doesn’t back down not when she’s found hope at last. “Is that all it was? Tell me. Say the truth. Please.” Joohyun continues her rage. She advances further to the taller girl. “It was a mistake. Literally a ing mistake! That’s what it was! I didn’t tell you because I regretted it so much. I’d rather pretend it didn’t happen! Satisfied?!”

Seulgi’s eyes starts glistening but she doesn’t let the tears fall- at least not yet. She runs her hand through her hair. “Without knowing it’s you, it’s truly just a ing one night stand to me. But you put a whole different meaning in everything in my life! It’s not just a ing one night stand to me anymore! It’s a glimmer of hope for what you feel about us! And you dare say it’s a ing mistake? Whether you feel the same or not for me, I never thought of it as a mistake. I never regretted loving you. I never regretted having my heart broken over and over again.” She closes her eyes letting a few tears spill. She sighs as she looks at Joohyun one more time. ”But I guess I do now.” She tries to suppress her sobs. “I love you. I really do. But it’s time to stop.” She takes hurried steps towards the apartment door. She decides to leave before she spills more tears, and even more of her feelings.

“I don’t feel the same. I’m not-“ Joohyun stays rooted in her spot but Seulgi can hear the sobs she’s been trying to suppress.

As she grabs the handle, she turns to her, stares at the shorter girl’s back. “Of course, you don’t. I’m not a man and I can never be one.” Joohyun faces Seulgi along with her tears. It hurts seeing her in pain especially when the reason is her. She’s in pain because of her selfish feelings that longed to be returned. It was never Joohyun’s fault she doesn’t feel the same. She twists the knob and opens the door. “I should go. This... Let’s stop this. Everything. Let’s stop.”

She leaves.

Seulgi’s been busy sobbing by day and getting drunk at night. She drowns herself in alcohol thinking that it’ll help her forget about everything she wants to forget. For a few hours, it works. Until she woke up always remembering all the pain. It gets harder every time.

She regrets every bit of it. How she let her hope that there’s more to their drunken night than simply cooling off each other’s heat get in her head. That maybe, just maybe it meant something to the older girl.

Most of all, she regrets shouting, cursing, and lashing out at the girl she loves the most because of her selfishness. She regrets making Joohyun cry. She regrets hurting her.

The greed and desire that have been building up inside her scares her so much. She doesn’t think it’ll stop soon so she’s even more afraid. She knows she’ll hurt Joohyun more if she isn’t able to keep her emotions in check and she doesn’t want that.

I don’t want to hurt you anymore. I don’t want to ever hurt you at all.

She decides.

——

After a few days, she calls Joohyun to come over in her apartment in the middle of the night. It took thirty minutes before she heard some shuffling on the other side of the door. The girl knocked hesitantly.

Seulgi opens the door with visible concern etched on the face of Joohyun. “Seul?” Her voice hoarse obviously due to the sudden disturbance in her deep slumber. She gives her a wry smile before letting the visitor enter the room. She gestured to seat at the couch and the smaller girl takes the cue. “Let’s talk.” Seulgi sees Joohyun fidget in her seat, cowering under her gaze. “Seul. I-“

“Joohyun-ah.” Seulgi begins as she sat beside the scared girl. She takes the girl’s hand into hers then rubs small circles on them. “These past few days have been really hard for me. It’s getting harder for me to hide the pain.” She looks into the eyes of her love. It’s puffy and red. It seems they’ve both been crying these past few days. “It’s so hard to pretend that you don’t mean the world to me when the very truth is you mean the ing universe.”

“Whenever you left me, I had always let you go. But I’m scared this time I’ll cling on to you. I’m scared I’ll beg you not go. I’m scared that I’ll feel frightened of losing you. Because I don’t want to be the one that holds you back when you don’t want to stay beside me.”

She cups her cheek as she leans closer. Their faces a few inches away. “Can you leave me while I can still let you go? Can you leave me while I still have that tiny ounce of pride not to hold on to you?” Her eyes starts to water. She kisses Joohyun’s forehead. She kisses Joohyun’s nose. Joohyun closes her eyes as she leans to her touch. Few tears slid down on her pale cheek. ”You can do that right? Please do that.”

They locked eyes. Both afraid to spill more than what was already leaked. Seulgi leans in. She kisses Joohyun softly yet passionately. It was an electrifying feeling to kiss the one you love. It’s a dream come true but a short-lived one because she needs to wake up soon. She kisses her like it’s the last because it is. She pulls back then presses their foreheads together.

“Please leave.”

Seulgi thinks she will understand if once they part this time, they might not find their way back to each other next time.

You were my first heartbreak. Also, my second, my third, and everything that follows. It’s always been you – just you.

----

Seulgi thinks she will love Joohyun no matter what. She thinks maybe first loves are like that. They tend to stick forever. She loved her as a friend. She was a person she cherished and treasured. Now, she loves her as her muse. She’s the laugh or cry in Seulgi’s idle days. In the future, she thinks she will love her as a memory. The one she’ll always remember whenever she looks back.

I loved you. I love you. And I will always love you. Love in different times and different kinds but still love, right?

And they are all for you. And perhaps, only for you.

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gonewiththewig
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