Wendy watches Seulgi drift off to deliver her last round of orders for the day. She sees her smile while she opens the door to leave. “It’s nice seeing Seulgi look so happy these days. I wonder what’s up,” She says while trailing with her eyes.
Joy suddenly appears from behind – a knowing smile evident on her features, “I know what’s up.” She wiggles her eyebrows playfully. The owner immediately approaches her, “Spill the tea, Sis.”
The taller girl lifted her chin up as she hums, “It’s not my story to tell. Just ask Seulgi.”
This earned a scoff from Wendy. “Spill or I won’t be lenient on your tardiness,” She adds with an evil grin which earned an eyeroll from Joy, “Didn’t know we’re on blackmail terms now? Okay, fine.”
“So there’s this regular customer that’s been crushing on Seulgi,” Joy says while wiggling again her eyebrows. “And I think that’s what’s making Seulgi so happy.”
The boss gushes out loudly before putting a hand on and composing herself, “Omg. Who is he?”
“You know her,” Joy proudly says- eyes beaming with pride.
The owner widens her eyes, “Her??? Is Seulgi gay?”
“I don’t know but I’m sure anyone will be gay for this girl.”
Wendy places a hand on Joy’s shoulders as she ushers them far from where the customers are, “She’s that beautiful?”
“Yes. She’s a celebrity!” The taller replies with much enthusiasm.
The boss’ mouth went agape, “A celebrity?!” She scoffs once again before turning her head from side to side, “No way! Seulgi shouldn’t date a celebrity EVER. They have to keep out from the public’s eyes, they need to hide often, they are both girls for god’s sake they are as good as dead once Dispatch catches them! I have to talk to her-“
“It’s Irene Bae though.”
“-and tell her to go for it,” Wendy continues. “I’ve been telling Seulgi to start dating soon. She’s hot and cute as hell. She’s not lacking anything. They are a good fit for each other. Do you think I can get an autograph?” She turns to Joy with hopeful eyes.
“You can even get a selfie,” She replies as she held her phone up to show the selfie she had with the Goddess.
Wendy gasps as she takes the phone from Joy, “Oh my god! Good thing I hired Seulgi. It was the best decision ever.”
Joohyun fetched Seulgi after her shift with the excuse that she’s just around the area. She’s technically really just around the area because she went there and waited in her car for hours. She was glad Seulgi took up the offer. The younger one didn’t really have a choice as she ambushed her as soon as she walked out of the store.
They are now walking toward Seulgi’s house when she noticed the younger girl stop her tracks. She followed her line of sight and noticed she was looking at Irene’s advertisement of a Soju brand in the windows of a closed restaurant in the neighborhood.
“It’s you,” She says while still looking at the poster.
She worried a bit because she never said anything about her being a known individual. She took a deep breath- voice a bit shaky, “I’m a celebrity. I never told you.”
Seulgi smiled still looking at her picture, “I know.”
“You do?? Since when??” Shock evident in Joohyun’s voice.
“I knew from Joy. She kept sending me videos of you.”
“Videos? What kind?”
“Cute ones,” Seulgi says while showing her signature laugh. It seems like she’s remembering something funny as she tries to stop herself from chuckling continuously.
This made Joohyun anxious, “Like??”
The taller girl places a hand on her chin- eyes filled with happy tears, “Like the one where you danced Amor Fati to promote this festival. You look hella funny. It was a good one.”
“There was also this video where you scratched yourself in the chest when a dog went near you. Hmmm. What else. Ah! Those compilation videos of you getting startled for a hundred times, glaring at men and judging them, hmmm, sniffing fabric softeners and-”
“Okay. Stop. Stop,” She gestures with her hands. Irene can feel herself fuming with anger. It’d be a miracle if Joy will even make it alive tomorrow. Out of all her videos, she dares show her love the embarrassing ones! But, for a benefit of the doubt, that shouldn’t be all. She must’ve showed something decent right?
“How about those ones where I was dancing to my songs Greedy or Bad Boy? Or any of my dramas? Those kinds? Theyoneswhereyouwilllustforme,” She says the last part as fast as Eminem’s rap.
“I didn’t hear the last sentence?? Greedy? Bad Boy? I haven’t seen those. You sing and act? I thought you were a comedy variety star??” Seulgi recalls all the videos Joy showed her. They are mostly variety show appearances where Irene does really funny stuffs or embarrasses herself. Now that she thinks about it, it’s kind of shady that Joy only shows her the weird ones (she still thinks Irene looks hella good in those). But then again it’s Joy so, in a way, it’s also kind of expected.
Irene: You are so dead, Joy!!!
Joohyun typed Joy a quick text before returning her sight to Seulgi.
“Are you okay though that I am like this?” She asks her.
“Popular? Rich? Famous? a.k.a out of my league?” She smiles, “I should be asking that. Are you okay that I am like this?” Seulgi retorts back with a face devoid of emotions.
“Ordinary? Poor? Weird? a.k.a way below your league?”
“Seul… Are we looking at the same person? Because I only see one of the most beautiful, kind, and charming individual in front of me right now,” Joohyun says as she cups the younger’s cheeks.
“I have nothing, Joohyun.”
She takes a step closer to Seulgi, “You have me.”
“And why is that? Why are you keeping up with someone like me? Why are you always here for me?” She replies as she places a hand above hers.
Joohyun gulped. This is it. The moment where she will finally confess. That one event where she will profess how much she loves the other girl.
It’s that instant where she tells her how she makes each day exciting, how she makes her feel complete, how she put the stars in her sky. It’s the make it or break it part of her life. The turning point of their relationship. The defining moment.
Just one more word. It will all be complete. Say it, Joohyun, say it.
There was silence for a few seconds until Seulgi began to chuckle- her eyes being filled again with tears. Joohyun covers her face out of embarrassment. She wasn’t able to say it! How does she command the land to swallow her whole?
The younger girl wipes a tear and looks away.
“I love chicken too,” She says as she locks their arms.
They walked in silence until Seulgi faces her,“I was right. So you are a comedy variety star!”
Joohyun mentally face palms.
That goddamn Joy!
“Do I really have to be here? I want to see Seulgi!!” She huffs and puffs, her face filled with a definition of boredom as she lounges and waits for the event.
Today is ISAC, an event where celebrities attend and compete with each other through various sports and competitions. When Irene was a newbie, she joined the archery competition and ever since then she was unbeatable.
“May I remind you that you were the one who kept insisting to attend here every year? That you said you need to defend your archery title?” Yeri says on the phone.
“But that was before Seulgi. I miss her!” A pout forming on her face.
Yeri eyerolls immediately as if Irene can see her, “Shut up and suffer old hag!”
“Seulgiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii,” Irene whines.
“Next up is Archery! Oh my, my. This is the most awaited event of ISAC simply because the Goddess of Korea is competing!” Leeteuk, one of the commentators, roars as the contestants enter the area.
Nayeon, another commentator, looks at the rest of the group and asks, “We have Sejeong, Tzuyu, and Irene for the veterans! I can also see some new faces. One thing’s for sure, this will be one hell of a match. Who do you think will win?”
“Do you have to ask? We all know who our bet is!” Hyunmoo interjects, “Let’s all say it on the count of three! 1… 2… 3…”
“Goddess Bae!” They roared in chorus.
The matches went on. As the commentators predicted, Irene was able to make it to the final round. It was an intense fight between Sejeong and Tzuyu but, in the end, Tzuyu managed to outscore her by a mere 2 points. They both enter the platform.
“Okay since this is the last round. How about we make some kind of bet? I will treat every celebrity here with food if someone from these two is able to shoot the center of the board,” Hyunmoo suggests.
Leeteuk and Nayeon were stunned, “You mean where the camera is? Oh, that sounds fun! We’ll treat you instead if no one was able to do it.”
Hyunmoo was confident he’ll be able to win. After all, nobody in the past three years was able to do it. During the earlier rounds of Irene’s and Tzuyu’s competition, the hosts decided on which food Hyunmoo will buy if ever he loses. It is currently 46-48 with the opponent leading.
“How about chicken?” The celebrities roared once they heard the mention of the food- rejoicing as if it’s not a common food in the world,”Chicken! Chicken! Chicken!” Upon hearing that, Irene’s eyes were suddenly filled with determination. And we all know why.
She can now picture Seulgi handing over to her a box of chicken with those cute ears and crescent eyes in sight. She imagined their hands brushing for a bit while she gets the box from her. She covers her face a bit because she can’t stop blushing at the thought. She kept chuckling that Tzuyu is now beginning to look at her weirdly.
“Ah! But our Goddess doesn’t eat chicken!” Irene snaps her head and glares at one of the hosts who said that. “Oh yeah! We need to think of something else!” Nobody can stop her from seeing Seulgi- not even chicken. It was now Irene’s turn and as soon as the focus is back on her, she raises her hand to make an okay sign.
“She… She said okay?”
She mimics a person eating the drumstick then repeats the OK sign.
“Am I dreaming or did she really say it’s okay to buy chicken?”
Irene, who’s aware of the focus she’s been receiving, laughed then mouthed, “As long as everyone else enjoys it.” Of course, she has other motives but they didn’t need to know that.
“As expected of our Goddess! She’s always thinking about the others. What our Goddess wants, she will get. Chicken it is!”
It’s currently a 86-85 score between Irene and Tzuyu. The board filled with 9s and 10s but still no perfect shot executed. The past four shots of Irene were in the 10s. She’s very determined to win this just to see Seulgi. It’s now the last round. Tzuyu shot the arrow close to the center, a definite 10 in the bag.
Of course, Irene knows she will get another 10. She will win but that is not what’s important. What matters is that she needs to break that camera at the very center. She channels Katniss Everdeen as she strikes a pose, ready to aim. There is fire in her eyes and it is the fire of love.
What Irene wants, she makes sure to get.
And right now, she wants to see Seulgi.
She releases the arrow.
“She broke the lens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Chicken! Chicken! Chicken!”
Irene now watches Seulgi, who’s with Joy and their other co-workers, hand the celebrities boxes of chicken- her attention undivided and only focused on the love of her life- her eyes the manifestation of hearts as her sight follows wherever the other goes. She requested specifically for this branch of Wanda’s just to make her plans come to life.
“You look so creepy right now,” newcomer Yeri says as she sits beside Irene. “Stop that.”
She completely ignores her. With her hands under her chin, her widest smile plastered on her face, she continues with her staring. She can’t help but squeal a little inside every time Seulgi’s ears would peek under her hat.
She suddenly lost focus when she saw a group of guys staring at the love of her life. “She’s so cute, man, should I go for it?” She heard one say. “I kinda like her too,” The other replied. She watches them write their numbers on a piece of paper and stuff it inside the sandwiches. They will give it to Seulgi and let her decide who she will take it from. They begin their quest towards the oblivious girl.
They are near the younger one when Irene emerged in front of the boys- her glare, as always could kill. The men are suddenly frozen as if she had some sort of power over her glare. Irene raised her hand and spread it gesturing for the boys to give her the sandwiches.
The boys immediately complied and hurriedly handed over the sandwiches. “I really like sandwiches you know,” she says as she opens one and immediately devoured them along with the paper inside, “This is good. There’s just too much coleslaw inside.” She can see the boys nudging each other before one of them responding, “I-I don’t think those are coleslaw, S-sunbaenim.”
She was about to respond when she sees a group of girls, this time, approaching Seulgi with yet another round of sandwiches. She gasped and immediately left the boys to greet the women, “I blovee eawting ssanwhiches. Kwan you gwive me dthose?” She says with still full of food. They look at her dumbfounded which she figured as a sign that her message did not come across.
“Can you give me those?” She repeats once she gulped all it down. The girls exchanged looks with each other before handing her the sandwiches with utmost hesitation. She watches them walk away looking defeated while she sports a triumphant grin on her face.
She was munching another sandwich when she decides to turn and to look for Seulgi again. After several minutes, the top star found her near the benches. She was walking towards her beloved when she noticed something and stopped her tracks.
A few feet away from Seulgi, she sees the group of the boys approaching her on the left, and the group of girls doing the same from the right with a new pack of sandwiches on their grips.
She looks at the sandwiches in her hand then back to Seulgi and the groups.
“Bwhat thew bkk?!!” She shouts while still chewing as she hurries toward her love.