Compliments & Trust FallsKeep Calm and Don't (Gay) Panic
Irene’s pregnant and the dorm is in chaos.
Or, Joy thinks Yeri is charming. Yeri thinks Joy is everything. Irene thinks Wendy is unique. Wendy’s real friend is Seulgi. Seulgi thinks of Irene as her real sister.
OT5! Inspired by the Glamour interview, that edited picture of Irene taking photos of her kids, and many more things they have said to each other. It’s a special chapter so the supposed tags would be different.
“How far along is she?” Seulgi asked while side eye-ing the bathroom where their unnie is currently spilling her guts out. She has just gotten home after 3 months of filming and promotion in Japan for her unit with other girl group members.
“She said 8 weeks,” Sooyoung replies after telling the newcomer the tea.
“Does the guy know?”
“That’s exactly why he left her,” Yeri clicked her tongue. They noticed it some time ago about their unnie’s strange behavior but it wasn’t until 2 weeks ago when Joohyun went home crying that they knew about everything.
Seulgi sighs in frustration and runs a hand in her hair, “That jerk. I will give him a peace of my mind!” She takes a pillow and began punching it in what she thought is threatening way but, really, she looked like a cute child throwing a tantrum.
Joy laughed at her, “Oh please, Seulgi-unnie, you can’t even touch a flower!”
This made Seulgi halt and look up to the younger ones, “B-because they will go to heaven! And yah! This is different!” She places back the pillow to the couch and sighed, “We shouldn’t have trusted Unnie to a guy like that. If only I was here.”
“What will you even do? Check up on them while they’re having ?” Yeri snickered, “Excuse me, it’s time to pull out.”
Seulgi covered the younger’s mouth in panic, “Yah!! Where did you learn that?!”
Seungwan came out after assisting their unnie and noticed the commotion, “Guys, keep quiet will ya. Unnie might hear.”
They all complied until it was Wendy’s turn to sigh, “She must be very scared now.”
“I’m really sorry, guys.” Irene spoke, eyes cast downwards and lips slightly trembling when she shared the news to the three before.
She had always kept a strong facade, always keeping her worries to herself while helping the other girls face theirs. She always took care of the four of them.
Now, its their turn to do it to her.
“We’re here. We’ll be here for her won’t we?” Seulgi said as she looked at each member in the eye.
They all nodded and smiled, “Of course! We’ll do our best to make unnie happy!”
It was after a while that Irene recovered and looked at the girls in question huddled closely in the couch, “What are you guys up to?”
Joy was quick to come up with a save, “Nothing! Seulgi unnie was just talking about her solo activities in Japan.”
“I was? Yeah I was!”
“Tell her about how you choked on a sushi!” Yeri giggled on the side.
While sharing the story, Joohyun cackled loudly in between which made their heart swell. They subtly looked at each other.
Everything will be okay. They’ll make it through together.
It’s just a (baby) bump in the road.
“What happened? Why do you all look so tired?” Seulgi came home after being gone for a few days for the last of her promotions this time in the local scene.
“Unnie! Take me with you!” Yeri was whining in the couch.
“Joohyun-unnie has been craving so much food these days!” Even the ever-kind Seungwan was complaining. They must’ve gone through hell and back, “Pregnant women really!”
“Oh , she’s back!”
And just like that, Irene emerged looking at them with her wonderful doe eyes, “I want teokbokki~”
“Unnie. It’s...” Seulgi looked at her watch, “12AM?”
Irene plopped down in the couch and began sulking, “Teokbokki!”
In Seulgi’s peripherals, she was seeing the three youngest throwing subtle signs for her to say no. It was kind of late indeed and they are all tired, “But-“
“Teokbokkiii!!!” Irene said with puppy eyes and a (cute) pout that anyone of them absolutely do not have the heart to say no to.
“Okay fine. Fine! We’ll go buy some okay?”
“Where the will we find teok-ing-bokki at midnight?!” Joy was grumpily walking beside the three other girls. They’ve been at it for 30 mins already going from one place to another but couldn’t find anywhere that’s still open.
The phone of the eldest suddenly rang so she was quick to pick it up upon seeing who called, “Unnie?”
“Seulgi-yah! Where is it! I’m hungry!”
She looked at the rest seeking for help but they all avoided eye contact. She scratched her nape nervously, “W-we’re heading back Unnie! We have it! Hehe.”
“What the?! She’s gonna kill you, Seulgi-unnie.”
“You will be missed amen!”
Seulgi sat in a nearby bench looking so defeated, ”Where are we gonna buy those?”
The rest sat with her and only silence filled the night for a long time.
“Oh! I know where!” Said by the youngest one.
They happily opened the door of their room with instant teokbokkis that they got from a nearby convenience store. Turns out there is something like that now.
They found their Unnie sitting in the couch. “Unnie! Here’s the teokbokki,” Wendy happily raised the paper bag she was carrying to show it off but was greeted with a frown by the oldest, “I don’t want to eat that anymore.”
“WHAT!” The paper bag fell on the floor due to their shock.
“Are you guys shouting?”
“Yes. I mean... No? We said what- uhm. What do you want to eat now?” Wendy replied.
Irene thought for a bit, “I... I want sujebi.”
Yeri, Joy, and Wendy secretly raised their fists in the air while eyeing the second oldest with their brightest grins.
”Sujebi it is then.”
“Seulgi unnie makes the best Sujebi.”
“We shall sleep then. Bye!”
Just like that they all left leaving Seulgi to digest the situation a bit later as she belatingly shouts for help while Irene is dragging her to the kitchen, “Yerim-ah! Sooyoung-ah! Seungwan-ah! Don’t sleep yet! Andweyo~~”
“Add more potatoes, Seulgi-yah! Moar!!!” The tiny bunny demands from beside Seulgi as she watches her slice the ingredients.
“More? Isn’t it too much?? It’s sujebi not boiled potatoes??” The taller replied as she looked at the amount of potato she already cut.
Irene cutely shakes her head. There could never be enough potato in this world, “Moarrrr!!!!”
When the boiled potato feat. Sujebi was done, Seulgi proceeded to pour the contents to a bowl when Irene spoke once again, “Wait. I think I want Ramyeon instead.”
Seulgi looked at her, scandalized, and fists clenched, and possibly with smoke emitting from her nose as she shouts, “Unnie!!!”
Irene laughed at her, “I’m just kidding!”
Seulgi was done washing the dishes because of the Sujebi and cleaning the sink when Irene re-entered the kitchen to get some water.
“Can’t sleep?” Seulgi said as she turned around.
Irene finished the glass before turning her attention back to the other person. She looked at her like she wanted to say something but couldn’t bring herself to do so. Seulgi noticed a water about to drop from Irene’s chin so she used her knuckle to wipe it away.
“Something’s bothering you?”
Irene ran her own knuckle after Seulgi to make sure there’s no more water on her face. She sighed. Of course, Seulgi could read her like the back of her hand, “We... we talked earlier today about...”
She looked at ground debating how to say the next words, “...the future.”
She looked back at her dongsaeng, “What do you think about continuing with the four of you?”
Seulgi wiped her hand with a towel, “I’m... You know it’s five or nothing for me.”
“Why do you all say that... When it’s not the logical choice.”
“Do we always need to do the logical one?”
“You don’t understand! Five or nothing means disbandment, Seulgi!” She whisper shouted. As if on cue, tears started clouding up her eyes. It’s not like she can promote after giving birth. She’ll have a child to take care of. And this is Korea! Do they think they’ll let her in back to the group?
But then Seulgi cupped her cheek and smiled where her eyes do too and suddenly everything felt like they will be okay, “At least we’re disbanding on good terms?”
She moved closer to the smaller girl to hug her, “Disbandment or not. You guys are a family to me. What feelings we have for each other, I don’t think an expired contract can end that.”
Irene closed her eyes, trying to blink away another fresh set of tears until she couldn’t anymore. She’s crying for the opportunities these girls could’ve, cried because she was the reason for it, and cried again because despite of that, she is loved and cared for. She would’ve cried for more reasons if Seulgi didn’t interrupt, “Go back and rest now. I know the best sujebi in the world made you full.”
Irene scoffed with a smile, Seulgi surely knows how to lighten the mood, “Tsh. It was salty. Did you even wash your hand?”
The taller one replied with a scandalized look on her face, “I did! You were there when I was doing it!”
“I was there so I know you didn’t,” Irene had a playful grin on her face.
The grin evolved to a full cackle which lasted for a while because she couldn’t get over how Seulgi looked. She was panting from the laughing spree when she wiped a lone tear on her cheek due to laughing. She took a deep breath and looked at Seulgi with a smile on her face.
Seulgi smiled back.
“For the Sujebi?”
“For the Sujebi.”
“I feel nervous!” Wendy said. Joy, who’s seated beside her shared the same feeling as they take tentative steps, “Me too!”
They are accompanying Irene for her first ultrasound and, for some reasons, their nerves are getting the best of them. Even more than the pregnant lady.
“Why are you guys more nervous than me?!” Irene watched the girls fidget a lot. “Let’s go now.” They are already in the hospital.
“Wait, Unnie, let me pee first!” Yeri suddenly said. The others also chorused and followed her to the toilet leaving Irene dumbfounded, “Seriously! You guys just peed a while ago!”
Ten years later (a joke), they are finally inside the room. Irene is seated beside the ultrasound machine while the other members are standing by her side. The doctor hovers the machine on the eldest’s stomach and instantly, very tiny movements can be seen on the monitor.
The doctor points at it, “Okay so this is the-“
“That’s the baby!!!” The youngest four said in chorus.
The doctor nods her head and points specifically on a certain part, “Yeah that’s right. So this is the-“
“Oh my god, it’s so cute!!” Joy squealed.
The doctor was about to continue, “Yes so-“
Wendy squints her eyes at the tiny figure on the screen, “Is it a girl?”
“It’s still too early to te-“
“I think it’s a girl!” Yeri said as she faced Joy and they clasped their hands and began to jump softly with excitement.
The doctor took a deep breath in order to calm herself. They are just so excited and she understood. She tries explaining again, “Again, it’s still too early to-“
“I kinda wanted a boy for unnie though,” Wendy said.
Joy giggled, “Unnie is so short though.”
Irene, who kept looking at the screen with wonder finally got out of that stupor as she heard the triggering words that came from the tallest’s mouth, “Yah!!”
She raises her fist to threaten the younger girls while they continuously make fun of her.
The doctor watches the chaos unfold and tried to divert their attention back to her by clearing , “Ahem!”
They didn’t notice so she tried again. This time with a louder tone, “AHEM!”
“Oh? It’s not over yet?” The girls finally looked back at her.
“What? We haven’t even starte-“
Seulgi nodded as if she’s having a eureka moment and finally said something, “Oh! Not yet! She still needs to print the pics!!!!”
They all nodded, “Oh right! Right!”
They also looked back at the monitor with a grin.
“Baby, say cheese!!!!”
“Okay, so what now guys,” Seulgi sees the rest once again huddled in the couch. From her past experiences, this is never a good thing.
Yeri leans a bit to whisper, ” Unnie’s always on the edge lately.” She sighed, ”I mean she’s moody before but there’s really something different.”
Joy nodded and added her own observation, ”Like she’s frustrated or something.”
They kept thinking what’s wrong but couldn’t really think of anything so they all decided to ask the older girl once she’s awake. They, after all, cannot address a problem if they don’t know what’s the problem.
Once the eldest made her way out the room and sat on the couch, they were quick to gather around and corner her.
“Unnie, tell us what’s really wrong.”
Irene shakes her head, reluctant to share her concern so she settles for a short explanation, “I’m just frustrated.”
“Frustrated about what?” The younger one said with a pointed gaze. “Tell us. We can help you!”
“You guys cant help me,” Irene sighed.
“We can! Just say it, Unnie!”
Irene shifted her gaze to the floor. “I’m...”
“I’m... s-se.... ARGH! I can’t say it!” She raises both of her hands to ruffle her hair.
“Oh come on, Unnie!”
“I’m...“ She breathed deeply before closing her eyes as she says in the tiniest voice that she could, “...ually frustrated.”
There was a pause for a minute before what she said actually registered to the young folks, “Oh.”
Wendy whispers to the rest, “I heard that when you’re pregnant, the libido goes up at some point.”
Joy, Wendy, and Yeri continued to whisper to each other. Concluding that interaction, Irene stood up to go back to her room to just go back to sleep.
Seulgi follows Irene’s back with her eyes before looking at the trio that were still engaged in a serious conversation. After a few more minutes, the three nodded to each other before they all turned to look at Seulgi.
Which made her gulp.
Whatever they are about to say, she’s sure that she won’t like it.
However, they didn’t need any words. They just simply lifted her up and carried her inside Irene’s room. Before she could even react, she heard the lock of the door.
“Hey! Let me out!”
She gazed at the girl on the bed and gulped again. Irene looked back at her, already sensed what had transpired based on the evil cackles she’s hearing outside her room.
She gestured for Seulgi to come closer, “Come here, Seul. Sleep with me.”
Seulgi panicked, flailing her hands in the air, “I-I don’t know how!”
“Silly. I meant literally sleep.” The older girl laughed at her. “Come here.”
The taller girl tentatively moved towards the bed before Irene caught her wrist and pulled her beside her. She held Seulgi’s hand, turned her back, and placed the taller’s hand on her stomach which Seulgi took as a cue to spoon her from behind.
It’s a familiar feeling.
There were silent for a few minutes until the older one placed her hands on top of Seulgi’s, “Do you remember when I used to snuggle to you when we were trainees?”
“Yeah, you were afraid of the thunder.” Seulgi lightened up at the memory. “Why?”
“Nothing. I find it funny how we were able to fit in that small bed.”
“Yeah. Things are different now. You now have a bigger bed.”
Times sure have changed.
She looks at their hands on top of her little angel. She sighed.
She’s also afraid of a different thing now.
There will be a lot of uncertainties. A lot of gossips, judgements, and hardships for sure. What if she drags the other girls down? What if-
“Let’s sleep?” Seulgi asks her with a yawn.
“Yeah.” She held Seulgi’s hand tighter. And maybe that’s all she needs right now to relax her thoughts.
Yes, things are different now.
But one thing’s the same.
Seulgi still has that effect on her.
She still makes her calm.
“I can see that you both are fully clothed and the room isn’t messy.” They woke up to the voice of the youngest standing on the door. Joy’s head popped beside her, “How disappointing.”
Seulgi thew a pillow to the both of them. The younger ones told them to come out because Wendy prepared breakfast already.
“Do we have any more pancakes?” Seulgi looks at her bestfriend seeing as there are no more in the table.
“Do you want more? I will cook wait.” Wendy stood up and opened the stove. She started cooking but was interrupted shortly when Joy began tying her hair. Wendy blushed at the gesture.
The rest looked at them while giggling, “So cheesy early in the morning!”
Irene took her phone out to take a video while laughing at the cringy sight.
“Shouldn’t we know first the gender, Yerimie, before we buy anything?”, Joy was following Yeri inside the shopping mall. Earlier today, the younger one barged to her room and told her they’d go shopping for baby stuffs. Still in her sleepy state, she hadn’t realize how it might be too early for that.
Yeri turned around, “No, Unnie, it’s all about the feeling!” She spots a nearby store selling baby items. They went in and kept looking at most of the inside.
Yeri carefully eyes the myriad of baby clothes. She grabbed a blue shirt with a duck printed on it and hummed, “Don’t you think it’s lame that we associate genders with color? Blue shouldn’t refer to just boys the same way pink is associated only to girls.”
Joy, who was holding the pink version, turned to look at her with surprise etched on her face, “Oh, since when did our Yerimmie sounded this open-minded and mature?”
“I’m still baby man!” The maknae replied with a scoff.
“Oh! Speaking of baby, when it’s born I’ll have two babies... because Haetnimmie!!!”
“Whatever! I’ll have a sibling!”
“What?! I’m her daughter too you know!”
“Do you hear that?”, Yeri begins to look around. This prompted Joy to come closer to her while doing the same thing, ”Hear what?”
The younger then sent her a look of mischief coupled with a teasing smirk, “Somewhere in the world, Irene Unnie is saying at this very moment that she doesn’t have a daughter like you.”
“Yah! Yerim-ah!” Joy kept softly hitting Yeri while she dies laughing.
They continued to shop going from store to another. From baby clothes to cute toys, they kept buying items with an excited feeling.
They were looking at some cribs when Joy let out a deep sigh that had Yeri turning to her side, “But seriously, Yerimmie, I’m afraid. I can’t help but think how it will turn out.”
Yeri placed a hand on Joy’s shoulder, already deduced what she’s talking about, “I’ve known Joohyun unnie for so long and if there’s one thing I’m sure at, is that she’s a capable person. Like the rest of us. I’m sure we can all make it.”
Joy felt at ease due to her comforting words but decided to still make fun of her.
“You talk like an old person!” Joy fondly looked.
Yeri rolled her eyes. “No, I’m still baby!”
Joy coos, “Ddu-ddu yah!!!”
Sometimes Yeri is like a younger sister, but sometimes she’s like an older sister too. She has many charms. -Joy
As soon as they got back to the dorm, Yeri plopped down on the sofa letting the tiredness take over. She was on her way to dreamland until a body laid on top of her and hugged her from the back. She nudges her with her shoulders. “Get off~”
This only prompted Joy to hug her tighter, “Nooo, Yerimmie. I miss hugging you like this! Don’t you miss your old roommate?” She nuzzles her nose on Yeri’s neck.
The younger girl was unfazed as she nudges her once again, “I don’t!”
“Why do you say hurtful words to your favorite unnie?”
“You are such a drama queen! Get off!”
“Noooooooo,” Joy not budging no matter how Yeri nudges her until the youngest finally gave up and let her be.
Yeri was once again drifting to sleep when Joy broke the silence, “Yerim-ah, are you asleep?”
“Not yet. Why?” She answers with eyes closed.
“Once we disband... live with me?” Yeri looked over her shoulder to meet Joy’s eyes. “We... we can’t continue staying here right? Unnie might go back to Daegu too.” Then, Joy continued to nuzzle her nose in the youngest’s neck once again. “And you know how I’ll have sleep paralysis without you!” Joy went on to remind her about that one time Yeri’s schedule ended late and she got sleep paralysis for more than 10 times. It wasn’t until Yeri came that she was able to sleep and “found peace in her heart” therefore concluding Yeri as the “soul” of their room.
“...Zzzz. You said so many things. What was the question again?”
“Yerim-ah!” The older one responds while whining.
“Hahaha. Thank u, next!”
“Move in with meeee!”
“Hmmm. I will think about it.”
“Yerimmie~” She hugged her even tighter.
“Don’t hug me too much! I can’t breathe! Help!” Yeri replied while dramatically gasping for air.
Joy started tickling her and so after a while, she had to throw the white flag and surrendered, “Okay! Fine!”
The older one rejoiced and grabbed Yeri’s head to plant a wet kiss on her cheek which Yeri reacted with a fake gag.
She doesn’t say it but she’s sure Joy knows that she would love to live with her for what might be a very long time.
Yeri doesn’t have a lot of people around her. But she wishes for Joy to be one of those that will stay.
Joy is very funny and... I love her. Joy is kind of... everything. -Yeri
Each of them had to admit. They’ve thought about them reaching the point of disbandment before. With a number of groups popping from left to right, this is a possibility the’ve entertained in their minds.
However, when they first thought about their last performance as a group, they’ve pictured a big arena or a dome with the most fancy stage and incredible lighting. Them singing for hours straight to a coral pink crowd. They’ve thought about giving their heartfelt ments at the end with everyone of their fans crying along.
It wasn’t like that.
As much as they wanted to have it at a solo concert, irene wouldn’t be capable to pull off months of practice and hide her growing baby bump at the same time.
So instead, it was at a local summer festival they are headlining. Three songs instead of several sets. Still with a number of fans but not enough for a small coral pink ocean.
But it’s okay.
As long as they meet their fans, anywhere will do.
“Last stage as five huh?” Joy smiled while looking at the rest who are waiting for their turn on stage.
“Yeah.” Yeri replied with a smile of her own.
Their fans don’t know it will be the last stage but the five of them do.
“Let’s have fun?” Seulgi says with her crescent shaped eyes.
“YESSS!!” Wendy replied and the others followed. Everyone laughed except for Irene so they all turned to her with worried eyes.
Irene shook her head and laughed, “I was just thinking how sometimes we are all toot-toot and also sometimes kaboom.”
The other members laughed again.
“But I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Irene followed.
They all came closer for a heartfelt group hug.
“This really feels like a family!” Wendy squealed and the rest cringed then laughed at what she said.
It wasn’t a dome tour. There was no fancy stage nor incredible lighting. No coral pink ocean. No lengthy ments. Instead, they lit up the stage with their brightest smiles and fancy adlibs. Colored the crowd with their with their vibe and energy. Finally, they let their songs do the talking.
And on that day, on that tiny stage, they uttered a phrase they held so close in their hearts for the last time on stage.
“Happiness! We are Red Velvet!”
“Wow they bought so much stuffs again!” Wendy says as she goes inside Irene’s room which has been filled with what the youngest ones bought. She smiled at her, “They did.”
Seungwan offered to help her organize and they swiftly did their best to unpack and arrange the newly purchased items.
Wendy can’t help but glance at her Unnie once in a while, seemingly hesitant to open a topic she’s been thinking about. It wasn’t until they were nearly done that she gathered strength, “Unnie... will you- will you go back to Daegu?”
Joohyun halted folding one of the baby clothes and turned to look Seungwan in the eye, “I might. Or might not. The company wants me to stay here to avoid suspicions.”
“You don’t have to follow you know. I mean of course we want to have you here but if you think it’s the best for you and the baby, we’ll respect it.” She held Irene’s hand. “But if you stay, we will take care of the both of you.”
“I also don’t want to leave...” Irene falters and shifted her gaze to her lap. “But I don’t know if it’s best for me to stay.” She sighed and closed her eyes to contain her emotions. “Sometimes, I think how this can be a burden for you guys.”
Seungwan lowered her head so she can see Irene’s face. “You are many things but being a burden isn’t one of them.”
Irene shook her head. It was a few minutes of silence before she opened another topic, “And you? Will you go back to Canada?”
Wendy was back to folding clothes when she answered Irene, “I... I don’t know yet. I also don’t want to leave. But I also don’t know if it’s best for me to stay.”
“You’ve spent half of your life here. You made so many sacrifices for your family just to make your dream come true here. But knowing you... I think you can also make it there. No, You can make it anywhere.”
“Your family misses you and I know you miss them so much too. It’s not selfish to pursue something you can for yourself.”
“It’s really amazing how you can see through how I feel, Unnie. You always slap some sense to me and Seulgi. As expected of the best woman of this generation.”
“You also have a lot of foreign artists that wanted to collaborate with you. I know you also want to but are holding back because of the group. Do those. Don’t give the crap that you are just Red Velvet’s Wendy.”
“Even just Red Velvet’s Wendy is a lot but you can also do equally as well by being just yourself. Aren’t you the best vocalist of this generation?”
Upon hearing that, the tears forming on Wendy’s eyes stopped. She whined, “Way to ruin it, Unnie.”
“I was just copying you.”
“Well, great minds think alike don’t they?”
Wendy reaches out a hand once more to take Irene’s tiny hand, “The future isn’t clear but we’ll... we’ll do well right?”
“Of course,” the older nodded.
In the back of Irene’s mind, she thought how much she and Seungwan think the same. How they reassure each other with words they aren’t really sure of. And how they still both hold it close to their hearts and believe it despite the uncertainties.
I first met Wendy six years ago when we were trainees. I realized that she and I feel similarly about a lot of things. We always have. It’s amazing. Wendy is... Wendy is very unique. -Irene
“Get up, Seulgi!” She woke up to the feeling of Wendy poking her armpit. She lightly pushed the smaller one and turned her back still laying on her bed and covered her head with a pillow. “Noooo! It’s still early!”
“It’s twelve noon already.”
“Exactly why it’s still early!”
Wendy gave up trying to convince her to stand up and laid her head on top of Seulgi’s arm. She scanned her room, looking at the other girl’s small but aesthetically pleasing stuffs, “Your room is really cozy.” She says with a voice tinged with sadness.
Seulgi reaches out to run her hand through Wendy’s hair, “You’ll miss it?”
“Of course, even the bear who lives in it.”
They both laughed.
“Come on, we are gonna do something!” Wendy sat up and pulled Seulgi out if her bed.
“What is it?”
She turned to Seulgi with excitement emanating from her orbs, “Today, I will teach you how to bake!”
Seulgi rolls her eyes, “Pass.” She attempts to lie on the bed again which Wendy stopped.
“It will be fun!! Come on!”
“Am I doing this even right? I don’t think I’m cut out for this.” Seulgi says as she tries to mix the ingredients that Seungwan instructed her to put in.
“No, you are doing really good.”
She glares at her, “Aish, you are just saying that!”
Wendy laughed at her and gestured for her to stop and place the soon-to-be cake inside.
They stood for a bit looking at the oven. Both have other thoughts that filled their time.
Wendy shifted her eyes from the oven to Seulgi, “Hmm?”
“Is it because you are leaving that you want me to learn this?”
Wendy smiled and returned her gaze to the oven, “What are you saying... I... I won’t be leaving any time soon yet. It will be a month or two after the contract ends.”
Seulgi leaned on her best friend’s shoulder,“I’ll make sure to bake them these from time to time.”
She held Wendy’s hand and squeezed it, “But the baby’s birthday... make sure you do it yourself right?”
Wendy leaned her head on top of Seulgi’s, “Of course. I’ll be back! Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
They finished the cake and are currently test tasting it now, sitting side by side in the dining area. “Wow, this is good!” Seulgi says with a mouth full of cake.
“Don’t talk while eating you dummy!”
Wendy took a bite while receiving a mischievous glare from Seulgi. “I hope it goes into your teeth!”
“Then, I hope you choke later on a cupcake!”
They both cackled.
“I’ll miss this you know?”
“Yeah. Me too.”
Wendy doesn’t say but she thought about how the place beside hers was always Seulgi’s. How everything felt natural like that like it has been that way since forever.
She’s her best friend. And though the time left they have together is limited and will soon be laced with distance, she’s assured that their relationship will remein the same. To her, she’s a never-ending story.
They smiled at each other. Wendy was about to tear up until she started sniffing. “Wait, I smell something burning.”
“Yah! Kang Seulgi! What did you do to my cupcakes!”
I met her when I was a trainee. She’s the same age as me. She’s like my true... friend. She takes a huge part of my life. I just love everything about her. I just love Seulgi. -Wendy
It’s been a couple of days when they were finally able to know the gender of the baby.
Along with that, the three oldest have to take care of their excited maknaes who have gathered them all today to talk about an important issue: the baby’s name.
Seulgi would’ve been so excited but it’s still early in the morning and Joy is still on the second slide of her powerpoint presentation lecturing them about the list she probably found in the internet about what makes a good baby name. By the eighth slide, Seulgi didn’t even bother to be subtle as she closed her eyes to get some shut-eye.
After the eleventh slide, Joy excitedly slammed the center table causing Seulgi to wake up. She stared at the screen and saw the words “Baby (Name) Making Time” displayed on the screen.
They proceeded with sharing their ideas. The suggestions were.... weird if Irene was being nice. Yeri started by naming her biggest idol which lead to the others naming theirs.
So, now, the list looked like this:
- Jessie J
“Wow, these names are awesome!” The four girls look at the list with proud gazes. They turned to gaze at Irene and receive some validation, “What do you think, Unnie!”
“Oh, wait. They are... really... hmm. Uh. Nice.” She breathed deeply, carefully thinking how to save her future daughter from a terrible name. “I would like it, though, if it’s a Korean name.”
The rest nodded in agreement and thought about it some more which made Irene breathed in relief.
Joy started to list the names of the characters she played. Yeri did the same. Seulgi wanted to but she has only played herself so far. Wendy, who had no drama roles, was kind enough to suggest Irene’s.
Ariana Jessie J Camilla Beyonce Baeyonce
- Tae Hee
- Hyun Ji
“What do you think, Unnie?” They looked at her once more. Her eyes looked at the list slowly, one by one, as if she got all the time in the world until she stopped at one name.
“I think... Hyun Ji.”
It’s the name of her character in her debut movie, Double Patty. Hyun Ji, who served burgers at night. Hyun Ji, who worked toward her dream of being an announcer. Hyun Ji, who shared the same dream as Joohyun when she was younger. Hyun Ji, who did not give up. Hyun Ji, who is like Bae Joohyun from Daegu.
“That’s a good name! But why that though?”
She placed a hand on her bump, “Because I’d also like her to do whatever she can to reach her dreams.”
She looked at the four girls, “Like what we did.”
Seulgi smiled at her, “Hyun ji... it’s a nice name unnie.” She placed a hand on top of Irene’s on her stomach, “Baby Hyun Ji, I can’t wait to meet you.”
Joy squealed on the side, “Hyun Ji-ah! Oh the nickname is still Hyun. Baby Hyun!!”
“Woo! Baby Hyun!”
The rest of them suddenly placed their hands on top of Irene’s baby bump while at the same time still cooing at her stomach.
Irene giggled, “To be honest, you all look crazy right now.”
They looked among themselves before they all burst to laughter at the same time.
“Oh!” They shouted in chorus when they felt something move in Irene’s stomach.
Did the baby just kick?
“Omo! She must have loved her name!”
“Unnieeee! I mean Seulgi-yah! Where are you!?!” Wendy is shouting over the phone that Seulgi had to move the phone a bit farther than her ear.
“I’m on the way home. Why?” She turned in a corner, a good 2 blocks left from their dorm.
She hears a lot of rustling on the other side, “Unnie is about to give birth!!”
“What! There’s supposed to be two weeks left right! Which hospital!” She stepped on the brakes due to shock. Good thing there’s no other car on the back.
“We’re still in the house. Waiting for the ambulance.”
She steps on the gas this time, determined to arrive as soon as possible, “Okay got it! I’m one block away.”
When she arrives at the floor of their dorm, the medical professionals passed by her with someone in their possession which she assumed as Joohyun. Only it was not Irene.
“Is that... That...” She squints her eyes to get a better look. “Is that... Joy? Huh? Joy?? Why are they taking her?? Joy!!”
From across the hall, she hears Joy shout, trying to explain herself, “It’s not me!!! It’s not me!! I just ate a lot! I’m not pregnant!!!”
“Push!” The doctor orders Irene.
Irene shakes her head from side to side. She’s been in labor for more than two hours already, “Aaaaahhhh! I can’t do it anymore!”
Seulgi kept her hold on Irene’s hand tight. She was the one nominated by the members to go inside with their oldest with the reason that while she may not be the father, she emits BDE: Big Energy which she frowned upon but the nurses dragged her inside since they are taking so much time. Having been given such important role to participate, she makes sure to encourage Irene, “No, Unnie you can do it!!”
“I said I can’t!”
“No, you can!”
“Unnie, you can!!!!”
“I ing cannot!”
“You can do it, Baechu-Unnie!”
“Mother er!!!! Come here and you do it instead!!!!!!!”
“Oho! The lady in labor next door is already beating you into it! You don’t want to lose, do you?”
“Unnie is not a loser right? You can do it! Show them the Game Goddess’ powe- OUCH! Wait! Wait! My hair!”
Irene grabbed and pulled Seulgi’s hair so hard while pushing.
“Wait!!!! Time out!!!! Unnie!!!! WAIT!!!!”
Irene continues to pull her hair, “I’m gonna ing win!!!!!”
She breathes deeply as she prepared herself. She starts to push again.
“That’s the spirit!!!” The doctor says.
“What about my ing hair!!!” Seulgi says as she tries to resists Irene’s pull of her hair.
The doctor ignores her as she encourages Irene one more time, “Almost there!!! Push harder!! Last one!!!”
Irene closes her eyes for a moment.
“AHHHHHHHHH!” Irene shouts in her RBB D-7 high note.
“I’m sorry about your hair. Does it still hurt?”
Seulgi continued to look at the strands that used to be on top of her head but is now in her hand, “N-nothing that a wig can’t fix.”
“...But my ears are still ringing.”
She shifted her eyes towards Irene and they both bursted into a guffaw remembering what happened at the labor room.
“How about you?” Seulgi pauses the laughter and approaches Irene. “How are you feeling unnie?” She reaches out a hand toward the little girl laying beside Irene. The baby immediately held her index finger.
Irene thought about how the past few months shaped her life differently. From finding out about her pregnancy to holding her little joy right beside her right now, it wasn’t an easy journey. There were a lot of highs and lows, fast and slow paced moments. She was scared, so, so, scared. “It felt like I was on a roller coaster. It was dangerous and I was so scared. But now that I’m seeing her, the ride was worth it.” Irene smiled faintly at the interaction between the two. She gazed from their connected fingers to look at Seulgi in the eye, “And..”
She remembered the four girls who were always by her side, always making sure her needs are attended, and her mentality stable, “I wasn’t alone throughout this ordeal. You guys were with me through it all.”
“Yeah... we made it together.” Seulgi responded as she watches Hyun Ji take her finger to on it.
“She’s so pretty unnie.” Her eyes are so much like Joohyun, large and alluring like they always have so much affection to give. The ears as well, big and protruding but nonetheless very cute. As little as she was now, she knew she’d make a lot of hearts flutter in the future. Just like her mother. “She looks just like you.” She smiled wider, “Baby Hyun.”
Seulgi watches the two as they finally succumbed themselves to slumber. From seating on the couch inside the private room, she stood up and got closer to the two other occupants in the room. She raises a hand to tuck a few strands of hair behind Irene’s ear.
They’ve known each other for so long. Who would’ve thought that pale girl from Daegu who rarely spoke would mean so much to her. Who would’ve thought that a single “Hello Unnie.” would be the start of a decade long friendship between them. They were so young back then and knew so little about what life has to offer. They are older now and more experienced. They’ve watched each other grow and become the people that they are today.
She has seen Irene blossomed from a teen to a woman and now, to a mother. And she was happy to be by her side through all that.
Even if they don’t say it, they both knew.
They were each other’s constants among all variables.
She gave forehead kisses to both girls.
I’ve known her since she was in high school. So, it’s actually been ten years since we first met. So, I really think of her as family.
My real sister.
“Hello, Baby!!!!” Yerim bursts from the door, filling the room with so much energy.
“Tone it down! She might be sleeping, Yerim-ah,” Wendy along with Joy who follows her from behind.
Yeri rolls her eyes secretly at the both of them as she actually made sure to fetch first hand information before their arrival, “Seulgi Unnie told me she’s awake.”
Seulgi then brings over the baby upon hearing her name.
Hyunji looked at her aunts with wonder while the three looked back with fondness. A few days ago she was still a tiny bump in their Unnie’s stomach but now she’s a tiny human.
Joy leaned in to meet her eyes closer, “Baby Hyunnie! I’m your big sister, Joy!”
Perhaps from the loud sound of Joy’s voice, the baby began to cry.
Yeri chimed, “She takes after her mother!She doesn’t want a sister like you because Unnie doesn’t have a daughter like you!”
“YAH! Yerimie!” She hit Yeri softly.
They all laughed.
Hyun Ji laughed too.
“Oh, she’s laughing!”
Still on the hospital bed, Irene looks at them from afar with a warm heart.
She says this all the time. She just enjoys being together like this. Having them next to her, she feels so thankful for it.
“Unnie, what are you thinking?” Seulgi asks while munching on a piece of cake. The five of them and Hyun Ji were inside a fancy restaurant celebrating Christmas.
“Nothing,” She shook her thoughts away and smiled at her.
“I’m full! Let’s pay now!” Yeri said with a loud voice after finishing her chocolate shake.
Irene stood up and took her card out of her bag.
“Oh, are you paying?” Wendy asked. She nodded and carried Hyunji downstairs.
While she was settling the payment, she heard her name being called. She looked upstairs to see her four younger sisters making heart signs.
“Hyun Ji hearteu!”
The sight was too adorable that even Hyun Ji was giggling while looking at them. Irene couldn’t help but grab her phone to take a picture.
I’ll keep this memory for all eternity. A memory of four kids I treasure the most.
This is the longest one-shot I’ve ever written! I’ve thought about it way too long ago then I wrote the dialogues last July with the hope to publish before their anniversary but everything else took too long to finish. So, I’m really happy I found time to finally complete it.
Since this is different from the rest, let me know if you want it separated and not in this collection. And sorry for the inaccuracies if ever.
Follow me on Twitter: @kangthisbelove