Birthday girl

The phases of Kim Hyunjin

When Heejin thought of the day she’d turn 18, her idea of celebration, unlike most girls her age, didn’t include being in a bar that reeked of cigarettes so late at night. Especially when she wasn’t yet legally allowed to be there.  

But it was her birthday, and at midnight, it would be her friend Jiwoo’s birthday. They always spent their birthdays together, and this time Jiwoo had somehow talked her into going there to watch her roommates’ band perform. She could only hope to enjoy some good music and stay out of the radar. 

“Are you sure we can be here?” Heejin asked, looking around and studying all the grownups. 

“Yes, we know the owner and she said it’s okay. We’re specials guests tonight.” Jiwoo wiggled her eyebrows. “Let’s get a spot towards the front while it’s still early.” 

Heejin followed Jiwoo through the crowd, grabbing Ryujin’s hand to make sure she wouldn’t lose her. 

“Oh, there’s Sooyoung!” Jiwoo beamed, cutting through people to get to her girlfriend. 

“I think I’m gonna get something to drink,” Ryujin said, looking towards the bar.  

“We’re underage, they won’t sell you alcohol. Or is the bartender some cute girl?” Heejin snickered. 

“I can’t even tell it there’s a girl or a guy there.” Ryujin irked an eyebrow. “But if I’m already in, won’t they sell me anything? Ah, whatever, I’ll just ask Jiwoo to grab a cider for me. Do you want something?” 

Heejin sighed. 

“Don’t worry, you should be having fun.” Ryujin rubbed her arm. 

“I know, I’ve just never been to a place like this.” Heejin scowled as a guy bumped into her as he tried to walk past them. “Too many people.” 

“Let’s get to Jiwoo and Sooyoung.” 

Ryujin grabbed her hand this time and lead the way. 

Heejin only hoped the band would be worth it, because she would much rather be home with all her friends who didn’t come that night because they weren’t even supposed to be there, doing a Harry Potter or The Hunger Games marathon and eating snacks all night, even though she already spent the day with them doing a cinema double session- 

“They’re coming!” Jiwoo clapped. 

Some girls at the front screamed and whistled. Heejin looked up at the stage as girls entered one by one from the backstage. First, one with shoulder length hair, carrying a classic guitar, followed by a blonde girl that went straight for the keyboard. Then, the bassist, also very pretty, with ashy brown hair, the drummer, that Heejin couldn’t properly see the face because she sat immediately in front of the drums at the back, and when the last girl came in, yellow electric guitar in hand, more people cheered. 

Heejin stared at her, conscious that her own mouth hanged open. It was a fact that all those girls were above the average pretty, but she couldn’t remember the last time she was left so struck with a girl. 

Long, jet black hair ran down her to her chest, and when she pushed it back to adjust the strap of her guitar on her shoulder, Heejin bit on her cheek. Even from afar, Heejin could see the sharp eyeliner and the dark red lipstick that decorated her already beautiful face, and... was that a ring on her lip?  

Heejin couldn’t explain the aura around that girl, but when she noticed tattoos on her knuckles as she tuned her guitar, she could say that was probably the coolest girl she had ever seen. She looked like she just came from a movie, dressed with a leather jacket and ripped jeans. 

“Wait...” Ryujin tugged on Heejin’s arm. “That’s Hyejoo and Hyunjin.” 

“Who?” 

“The drummer and guitarist, they’re from my class!” 

“Wait, what? You know them?!” Heejin widened her eyes. 

“Hyejoo is hard to approach, so I never really talked to her much, and Hyunjin barely shows up in class, like once a week.” 

“How are they younger than me? And that means they’re also not supposed to be here!” 

“I heard Hyunjin failed a year, so I guess that makes her the same age as you.” 

“Good night, everyone,” the short haired girl said into the mic, stealing their attention. “For the ones who already knows us, thank you for coming again. For the ones who don't, my name’s Haseul, and I’m your vocalist,” she said, changing her voice into a beautiful singing tone as she finished the sentence. 

“I’m Jungeun,” said the bassist, right before she looked down at her bass and let her fingers touch the strings and do their magic, bringing the room to full silence.  

Heejin widened her eyes as a jazzy melody joined the bass. Jungeun smiled and stole a glance sideways. Heejin followed, to find the girl on the keyboard smiling back as she pressed the keys. The bass faded, leaving the melody from the keyboard filling the room, until it slowed down and the blonde girl looked ahead. “And I’m Jinsol.”, she grinned as she pressed on the keys faster again, with the drums joining. 

People cheered as Jinsol finished her solo, but it didn’t last long. Only the drums could be heard now, such intensity Heejin’s heart beat alongside the beat. The girl threw a drumstick into the air and shouted, “Hyejoo here!”, and the second she grabbed it back and returned to her solo, a single loud strum on the electric guitar, followed by a riff, sent the room screaming.  

Hyejoo slowed down and let Hyunjin perform her solo, leaving Heejin with her jaw dropped. She was not only beautiful and super cool, she was also so skilled she had trouble following the movements of her fingers.  

Hyunjin finished as she approached her mic, pushing her hair back. She threw the smuggest smirk Heejin had ever seen in anyone’s lips, and said in a deep, hoarse tone, “And I’m your guitarist, Hyunjin.” 

The girls in the front row screamed so loud and high pitched it almost seemed like nobody else cheered on, and Heejin felt her legs going weak. If what they meant to do with all that over the top introductions was to blown Heejin away, then they couldn’t have done it better. 

“We’re Loona, and we hope you enjoy what we’re gonna bring you tonight!” Haseul said, the excitement clear on her voice. 

The crowd applauded and cheered more as Haseul looked behind her to check on the other members, who answered with nods. Hyejoo hit her drumsticks three times and the music started. 

Heejin recognized the song, but didn’t quite remember the name of it. So, they were coverists? But they were so talented! And Haseul had such a beautiful voice- oh, Jungeun just sang as well. And Jinsol. That meant Hyunjin would sing as well, right? Heejin locked her eyes on her again. She couldn’t wait to listen to that deep tone again. 

But she was wrong. Her singing voice was so soft and sweet, a drastic contrast to her voice from mere minutes ago.  

Three songs in, and when the crowd screamed and cheered, Heejin could only clap, slow and weak. 

“Heejin!”  

She snapped when a hand grabbed on her arm. “W-What?” 

“Are you okay? I was calling you.” Ryujin frowned at her. 

“Yes, I was just impressed.” 

“Which one?” 

“All of them, the whole band. They’re very good.” 

“You don’t fool me.” Ryujin scoffed. “Is it Jungeun? She’s hot.” 

“She is, but it’s...” Heejin sighed, droving her attention back to Hyunjin, watching as she bent down to fetch a water bottle and took a couple sips, then fixed her hair and took off her jacket, revealing a tank top and very toned arms. 

“Oh , someone call an ambulance, we have a very gay situation-” 

“Shut up!” Heejin covered Ryujin’s mouth, feeling her own face burning, and gladly Jiwoo and Sooyoung were too immersed in their own world to even notice them. 

“Hyunjin, really?” Ryujin laughed. “Next time she shows up in class, I’ll tell her you--” 

“You’ll tell her nothing!”  

Another song started, and Heejin really hoped she wouldn’t do anything, even though she knew Ryujin was more than capable of it. She couldn’t believe they were actually class mates. What were the chances? And how did Heejin miss such a girl around school? Ryujin mentioned she barely showed up, but... 

“How’s everyone doing?” Haseul asked after two more songs, chuckling with the heated response. “Before we head into a little something special we have for tonight, we have a surprise we need to take care of. We’ll call someone on stage.” Whispers erupted, friends mumbling among themselves. “I know she’s in the crowd, our birthday girl Jeon Heejin, can you come up here?” 

Heejin froze. Maybe she heard it wrong. But when Ryujin gasped and she felt hands trying to push her forward, she realized she didn’t. Heejin fought it, looking back at Ryujin, begging with her eyes for her to somehow save her. 

“Make way, she’s here!” Jiwoo shouted, pulling her forward. 

“No, no, no, what are you doing?!” Heejin’s eyes threatened to jump out, but when she realized, she was already right in front of the stage. 

Haseul offered her a hand and Heejin accepted her destiny, stepping on stage. When she turned and looked ahead at all those people’s eyes on her, she felt dizzy. 

At Hyejoo’s count of three, they started playing a rock happy birthday version, with the crowd singing along. Heejin laughed, searching for her friends in the middle of everyone so she at least felt a little less embarrassed, but when she found them laughing their asses off and giving her thumbs up, she preferred to look anywhere else. 

She thanked and bowed when the song was over, ready to step down the stage and pretend that moment never happened, but Jungeun rested an arm around her shoulders. 

“Say, is there anything you want for your birthday?” 

“I-It’s okay, you already-” 

“HYUNJIN’S NUMBER!” Ryujin shouted so loud Heejin was sure everyone in that room heard. 

“Oh, is that right?” Haseul laughed with raised eyebrows. “Hyunjin, come here.” 

Jungeun let go of her and gently pushed her forward. Heejin wanted nothing more than to click her fingers and teleport out of there. But Hyunjin, the freaking cool guitarist met her eyes for a couple seconds and smiled at her. More like wrecked her whole being. 

“Does anyone have a pen?” Hyunjin asked into the mic, and a mere second later, the fan girls in the first-row waved pens in their hands.  

Heejin wasn’t sure if the room fell dead silent, or if the throbbing on her ears was just too strong when Hyunjin approached her, eyes locked on hers, and stood too close to her. 

“Can you lend me your arm?” Hyunjin asked, her deep tone back. 

Heejin gulped, nodded, and offered her left arm. Hyunjin held on her wrist, her touch gentle yet the feeling of her fingertips rough on her skin, and the contrast sent a chill down Heejin’s neck.  

Hyunjin mumbled a thanks and smirked at her before opening the pen with her teeth. She was even more beautiful from that close. Her hair was messy from all the head banging, a drop of sweat ran down her temple. Only now did Heejin notice the slit cut on her left eyebrow, and there was indeed a ring on her lip. And on top of everything, Hyunjin smelled good. Too good for Heejin’s own safety. 

Heejin looked down as she wrote on her skin and studied the tattoos on her knuckles. A different symbol marked each finger, but Heejin didn’t have enough time to understand what they were. 

“Happy birthday, I hope you enjoy the rest of the night,” Hyunjin said after leaving her signature as well, giving her another smile before turning and returning to her spot. 

“Give it another round of applause for Heejin!” Haseul said, and it felt like Heejin was back from a different reality, one where nothing else existed but her and Hyunjin. 

Heejin thanked one more time, smiling awkwardly at them and got down from the stage, finding her way back to her friends to find them all either holding laughs, or smirking at her, especially Ryujin. 

“What the hell, Jiwoo?” Heejin looked down, not wanting to face them. “Was this your idea?” 

“The happy birthday part was, you getting Hyunjin’s number was Ryujin’s responsibility!” 

“You’re welcome.” Ryujin snickered, elbowing her. 

Heejin grunted, rolling her eyes. She hoped she could play it cool, because in reality she just didn’t want them to even more if they knew how much her knees still wobbled.  

That moment seemed taken out from one of the webtoons she reads or even one she would work on, if she had the motivation to do so. Not something that was supposed to happen in real life. But it did, and the proof was the number and signature on her arm that Heejin couldn’t stop looking at. 

“That was hilarious,” Ryujin said. “You should have seen your face.” 

Heejin stopped breathing. “W-What was with my face?” 

“You stared at Hyunjin like she was the love of your life. How did it feel like being so close to her?” 

“I was a mess.” 

“Your hands are shaking.” 

Heejin punched her arm. “What did you want me to do? You go up there and go through that in front of all these people.” 

“I bet these people are super jealous, actually. By the looks of it, I think Hyunjin is the most popular, so consider yourself lucky.” 

“As if I would do anything with this.” 

“What, why? You have to! She wouldn’t give it to you if she didn’t want to.” 

“Come on, Ryujin, it was for the show.” 

“Doesn’t matter, either you do something good with that number, or I’ll talk to her in class.” 

Heejin whined. Ryujin knew she wasn’t one to take that kind of initiative and was taking advantage of that. 

“Unfortunately, the show is almost ending, but we saved the best for last.” Haseul smiled. “The reason why tonight’s special... we’re so excited to finally show you guys our first original song!” 

The girls showed big, bright smiles as the crowd cheered the loudest that night, and Heejin couldn’t help but smile along.  

“Thank you all again for coming, and I hope you enjoy our song, Loonatic.” 

The smile on Hyunjin’s lips disappeared in less than a second. Her previous focused, cool expression was back as soon as they started the song, and Heejin couldn’t take her eyes off of her. 

The way she played, how skilled she was, her energy, the way she moved and felt the song was so captivating it was only right that she had the most fans. 

And that song was an original? It sounded amazing, by far their best performance. She would actually listen to that song more if she had the chance, it was so different from anything she had heard. 

“Thank you so much again, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the show and keep enjoying the night, ‘till next time!” Haseul bowed with the rest of the band, thanking into their mics. 

Heejin couldn't help but feel just a tad bit sad watching Hyunjin leave. Who knew when she would have another opportunity to see her? 

“You have her number and we’re all from the same school, stop looking so sad.” Ryujin rolled her eyes. 

“What am I gonna do? Text her and say, hey let’s hang out?” 

“That’s great, yes!” Ryujin patted her shoulder, and Heejin facepalmed. “But hey, you know what we should do now? They’re Jiwoo and Sooyoung’s friends, I bet they’re either coming to party together, or they’ll meet us anytime soon. Let’s just go and you can chat with Hyunjin.” 

“Oh, no. No, absolutely not.” Heejin waved her hands, trying to take a step back, but Ryujin ignored her. 

“Hey, Jiwoo, are you guys going to-” 

“S-Sing happy birthday? It’s past midnight already!” Heejin checked her phone, and indeed, it was one minute past midnight. What a save. 

They sang Jiwoo happy birthday, with everyone around them eventually joining. 

“Thank you all so much!” Jiwoo squealed. “How about a drink to celebrate the fact that me and Heejin were brought to this world?” 

“Yeah!” Ryujin threw her hands in the air, but Heejin only shook her head. 

Jiwoo and Sooyoung walked towards the bar to get their drinks. Heejin didn’t know if that was a good idea, but at least it made Ryujin forget about- 

“Jiwoo, are you guys going to meet the band?” she asked as they were back. 

“Yeah, I think they’re going to meet us here soon.” Jiwoo handed a glass to Ryujin and another to Heejin, who accepted it, wondering what was that blue liquid she was about to drink. 

Ryujin turned and shot Heejin the most mischievous smirk she possibly could, clinking their glasses together. 

“To Jiwoo and Heejin!” Sooyoung raised her glass. 

Heejin raised her own hesitantly and flinched before letting her lips taste the drink. She shrugged and took a large sip, the liquid burning as she swallowed.  

“What if we sit for a bit while we drink?” Sooyoung suggested, as a table became vacant.  

Well, if she was going to meet Hyunjin soon, might as well be with alcohol on her system. After going on stage and having Hyunjin sign and write her number on her arm in front of all those people, being in her presence and possibly sharing a few words would be a piece of cake- 

“They’re here!” Ryujin nudged Heejin. 

---

A/N: LOONA IS BACK AND SO AM I! Hope you enjoyed the first chapter hehe Heejin is so relatable tbh

As with my previous story, I'll update every three days! ^-^

Like this story? Give it an Upvote!
Thank you!
No comments yet