lord help me

kiyub

 

yerimie:

do you have any plans with azure tomorrow?

5:13 pm

 

joohyun:

why? do you need her for a boss run? 🙄

5:13 pm

 

yerimie:

it's her birthday, dummy

5:13 pm

 

me and the boys wanna do a celebration for her in game

5:13 pm

 

but she's literally never free thanks to you 😑😑😑

5:14 pm

 

joohyun:

wait

5:14 pm

 

oh my god

5:14 pm

 

yerimie:

what?

5:14 pm

 

joohyun:

I FORGOT ABOUT HER BIRTHDAY

5:15 pm

 

yerimie:

unnie … this ain't it …

5:15 pm

 

joohyun:

quick help me!!! what do i do!!! 😭

5:15 pm

 

yerimie:

🤪🤪🤪 i'm not helping you anymore after you casted me aside

5:15 pm

 

joohyun:

this is a life or death situation!!!

5:16 pm

 

please!!! 😭😭😭

5:16 pm

 

i don’t even have ideas for a present!!!

5:16 pm

 

yerimie:

why don’t you just ask her

5:16 pm

 

joohyun:

what

5:17 pm

 

yerimie:

ask her what she wants … it’s her day after all

5:17 pm

 

joohyun:

doesn’t that feel a little insincere?

5:17 pm

 

yerimie:

i’m not the one that forgot my own soulmate’s birthday

5:17 pm

 

how much worse can it get?

5:18 pm

 

joohyun:

should i take her out to do something?

5:18 pm

 

yerimie:

no don’t

5:18 pm

 

wait if you do can you return her before 10

5:18 pm

 

joohyun:

what are you gonna do with her?

5:19 pm

 

yerimie:

play games with her till the crack of dawn

5:19 pm

 

joohyun:

what

5:19 pm

 

yerimie:

?

5:19 pm

 

joohyun:

that can't be healthy

5:20 pm

 

yerimie:

you're talking to a bunch of GAMERS

5:20 pm

 

which part of being a GAMER screams healthy?

5:20 pm

 

joohyun:

fair point … so what should i do?

5:20 pm

 

are you getting her any virtual gifts

5:21 pm

 

yerimie:

oh yeah we got her a new outfit for her character

5:21 pm

 

but that's about it

5:21 pm

 

joohyun:

what do i get for her? what does she like? in real life.

5:21 pm

 

yerimie:

i don't know … she's been considering getting a figurine but it's like mad expensive

5:22 pm

 

or any junji ito book, she’s a big fan

5:22 pm

 

maybe get the one about spirals and stuff

5:22 pm

 

joohyun:

a book about spirals?

5:22 pm

 

yerimie:

it’s a horror manga revolving spirals

5:23 pm

 

joohyun:

how scary can spirals be?

5:23 pm

 

yerimie:

get it, read it with her then tell me

5:23 pm

 

joohyun:

🙄 okay …

5:23 pm

 

what’s it called?

5:24 pm

 

yerimie:

i will get back to you on that

5:24 pm

 

anyway, all her interests are nerdy or expensive

5:24 pm

 

maybe you should ask seulgi for more financially friendly and less nerdy options

5:24 pm

 

joohyun:

you know seulgi too?

5:25 pm

 

yerimie:

unnie … they're literally best friends …

5:25 pm

 

everyone knows seulgi

5:25 pm

 

joohyun:

🙄 why does it feel like you know my soulmate better than me …

5:25 pm

 

yerimie:

the bonds forged through video games are unlike any other

5:26 pm

 

besides, it takes time 🤷

5:26 pm

 

update me on your plans

5:26 pm

 

joohyun:

yeah yeah i'll be back in a bit

5:26 pm

 


 

seulgi

hi_sseulgi

 

renebaebae:

hi seulgi

 

i need to ask you something

 

hi_sseulgi:

oh unnie, what's up?

 

renebaebae:

what does seungwan like? i need ideas for her birthday

 

hi_sseulgi:

🤔 hmmm … she loves baked goods but i'm already getting her a cake

 

don't get her clothes, she only wears the same few shirts in rotation

 

renebaebae:

i've noticed …

 

hi_sseulgi:

😂 oh man

 

well, she likes handmade stuff, she kept all my notes and cards from all these years 

 

i think it's fine if you don't do anything extravagant

 

by that i mean don’t throw a whole party like sooyoung did for me

 

just spend time with her, maybe come over and play games together

 

renebaebae:

ahh, note taken

 

but doesn't she already have friends to play games with?

 

hi_sseulgi:

yeah but i'd imagine that it feels different doing something you love with someone you love

 

wannie's big on things like this, she loves intimacy

 

renebaebae:

thanks seulgi, i owe you one

 

hi_sseulgi:

no problem unnie! let me know if you need any help!

 

renebaebae:

will do 😄

 


 

joohyun:

is it really okay if i don’t do anything big? she’s turning 21 after all

5:35 pm

 

yerimie:

what’s the big deal about turning 21?

5:35 pm

 

joohyun:

you “officially” turn into an adult

5:35 pm

 

yerimie:

congrats on adulting! it really , good luck buddy! haha!

5:35 pm

 

joohyun:

yah!! as if you know anything about adulting!! 😒

5:36 pm

 

yerimie:

and i dread to find out

5:36 pm

 

the book’s called uzumaki by the way

5:36 pm

 

so what are your plans

5:36 pm

 

joohyun:

i’m gonna make her a card

5:37 pm

 

and get her the book

5:37 pm

 

yerimie:

what are you? 7?

5:37 pm

 

you trust my suggestions now, huh? 😏😏😏

5:37 pm

 

joohyun:

shut up. when it comes to seungwan, i don’t have a choice but to trust you

5:38 pm

 

and seulgi said she likes handmade things

5:38 pm

 

yerimie:

oh god are you turning into one of those cheesy couples who make photo books and stuff

5:38 pm

 

you’ve been together for less than two weeks

5:38 pm

 

lord help me

5:39 pm

 

joohyun:

the lord should be helping ME instead …

5:39 pm

 

i think i have a rough idea

5:39 pm

 

i'm gonna get her a present, wrap it up nicely with a note and then surprise her at midnight

5:39 pm

 

yerimie:

well, that actually doesn't sound so bad, good luck!!

5:40 pm

 

if you’re going out tomorrow, return her by 10, please

5:40 pm

 

joohyun:

you’re so annoying

5:40 pm

 

yerimie:

say that again and i will tell azure you forgot her birthday

5:40 pm

 

joohyun:

sorry my hand slipped, i meant to type you’re so accommodating

5:41 pm

 

yerimie:

😚 of course! anything for my favourite unnie!!!

5:41 pm

 

joohyun:

🖕

5:41 pm
 


 

six hours. joohyun had six hours till midnight, six hours to come up with something presentable and surprise seungwan at her dorm. they didn’t have any plans for today, seungwan merely said she was going to stay in and catch up on her shows. and joohyun had spent the entire day cleaning her room, all she wanted to do is relax now, but how could she relax now?

 

“where you goin’?” yongsun perks her head up from the couch where she lounged with byulyi. the two seem to be watching some documentary and the film major has her eyes glued to the television screen.

 

“craft store,” joohyun mumbles as she puts her coat on, “i need to put something together for seungwan’s birthday.”

 

“aww, aren’t you going to do anything for my birthday?” yongsun pouts.

 

. not only did she forget about seungwan’s birthday, she forgot about her roommate’s one too. why did they have to be born on the same day? joohyun lets out a weak smile, “you know i love you, right? i’ll take you out for dinner the day after or something.”

 

yongsun sighs and bobs her head, “do you need help? miss moon byulyi thinks this documentary about the ocean is more interesting than a trip to the museum.”

 

“yah!” byulyi whines, “i’m doing research for my next shoot! unnie, you gotta defend me or i’m looking for another model.”

 

snorting lightly, joohyun looks towards the screen with furrowed brows. she clearly doesn’t have time for this needless bickering.

 

“are you going to make me do an underwater shoot ..?” joohyun questions worriedly.

 

“maybe.” the photographer shrugs and hits pause, “just kidding, what are we doing for seungwan?”

 

“something that’s so cheesy that even you guys would be disgusted.”

 

“you really are a changed woman, hyun-ah.”

 

“well, let’s go, i only have six hours till midnight.”

 

she works out a rough schedule in her head on the way, with yongsun and byulyi’s help, maybe she could put together something sweet. little did she know, they would spend an hour shopping for all the materials. yongsun and byulyi getting distracted by all the fun things did not help at all. they pick out some helium balloons as well, because what’s a celebration without balloons?

 

and by sheer luck, the store ran out of birthday balloons, so they are wrestling with the choice of getting some animal balloons or nothing at all. if joohyun had been alone, she would be walking out of the store empty-handed. but of course, her companions convinced her to get five goddamn animal balloons. it started with one rabbit and then a squirrel for company, and somehow joohyun ended up paying for a bear, a chick and a turtle too.

 

the worst part of it all is how yongsun and byulyi refused to help her hold any of them, they helped with the art materials but not the balloons. it’s embarrassing enough to walk in public with one kiddy helium balloon, but five? she’s used to getting stared at but this is the next level, she considers moving home because of the sheer amount of humiliation she feels. 

 

“you look like a zookeeper, hyun-ah.” yongsun snickers on the way back to campus.

 

the model shoots her roommate a death glare and forces the other girl to hold one of the balloons so she doesn’t look like a walking sanctuary for animal balloons. returning to campus, they head to the university’s bookstore to get the book that yerim had been talking about, there’s a whole section dedicated to mangas so it’s probably the easiest item to find.

 

they part ways after that, joohyun feeling confident and satisfied, dismisses the couple so they could get dinner. she could finish the rest on her own. she has a gut feeling that yongsun and byulyi would only distract her and she couldn’t risk them botching her plans now that there are only four hours to midnight.

 

dinner could wait, joohyun considers it as punishment for forgetting her soulmate’s birthday and gets to work.

 


 

it takes three whole hours to craft the perfect birthday card and love letter for seungwan, along with putting everything together into something presentable. her back aches and she’s gotten a couple of paper cuts but the outcome is worth it. joohyun examines her work once it’s done, it’s not too shabby but it definitely could’ve been better if she’s more prepared. 

 

she squeezes in some time for a quick shower and potentially a meal but a ding from her phone catches her attention. her stomach grumbles mercilessly, but she decides she could grab something to eat a little later. she had some unread messages from seungwan that she deemed more worthy of attention.

 

son seungwan:

i finished my show

11:39 pm

 

i feel empty inside now

11:39 pm

 

joohyun:

what’d you watch

11:39 pm

 

son seungwan:

devilman crybaby

11:39 pm

 

i’ll tell you all about it once i can feel something again

11:40 pm

 

how’s your day?

11:40 pm

 

joohyun:

i cleaned my room! it smells like lavender now n_n

11:40 pm

 

son seungwan:

ooh lavender, i bet that smells lovely

11:40 pm

 

want me to come over again?

11:41 pm

 

joohyun:

not tonight, i’ve got something planned for yongsun

11:41 pm

 

son seungwan:

👀 what’s the occasion?

11:41 pm

 

joohyun:

it’s her birthday~

11:41 pm

 

i would be a terrible person if i didn’t do anything

11:42 pm

 

son seungwan:

tell her i said happy birthday too!

11:42 pm

 

joohyun:

i will~

11:42 pm

 

talk to you later? i gotta go~

11:42 pm

 

son seungwan:

sure, i’ll probably be up late tonight

11:43 pm

 

joohyun:

😘 okay~

11:43 pm

 

the few minutes that she could’ve spent on finding something to eat has been used on seungwan instead. she’ll be fine without dinner for one night. tossing on seungwan’s jacket that she’s claimed as her own, she gathers up seungwan’s present and the balloons and heads out. thankfully, there aren’t many people out now so she doesn’t look like an idiot. imagine seeing bae joohyun walking around campus with five animal balloons in hand at midnight, nobody would believe it for how comical it seems.

 

the senior reaches the aquila dorms just shy of midnight and she finds herself wondering what seungwan was feeling when she ran to her apartment that night. exhilaration? fear? anxiety? perhaps all three mixed into one big bubbling pot of feelings. that’s how she’s feeling right now. waiting outside the door only intensifies all of that. and that’s when it really hits her — she’s never felt this strongly for anyone before. she’s never been this open, this caring or even this willing to go lengths for someone. god, she’s whipped as hell for seungwan.

 

but if she’s not going to love the little nerd with all her heart, what would the point of these tattoos be?

 

the clock strikes midnight and son seungwan turns twenty-one. joohyun raps her knuckles against the door twice. she's been hearing voices coming from inside the room but it’s too muffled for her to make anything out. inhaling deeply, she tries to calm the thrumming of her heart. she has nothing to be worried about but she’s anxious all the same.

 

the door cracks open a few seconds later, seungwan pokes her head out with a cautious stare.

 

“joohyun?”

 

“happy birthday, seungwannie.” joohyun beams as she holds up the balloons.

 

seungwan can’t help her lips from tugging upwards and she opens the door even wider, "what's all this?" the nerd motions to the zoo of balloons in joohyun’s hands.

 

"a horribly rushed present," joohyun mumbles with a tint of shame in her voice, "along with some impulsive purchases."

 

“i thought you were going to be busy with yongsun, was that a lie?” seungwan muses and invites her girlfriend in.

 

“yup,” joohyun replies with a bob of her head, “i’ll make it up to her, today is your day."

 

"well, then i'm all yours."

 


 

entering the dorm, it’s dark save for seungwan’s monitor lighting a portion of the space. joohyun finds that seungwan has the room all to herself, her best friend has seemingly disappeared.

 

"seulgi's staying over at sooyoung's, if you're wondering." seungwan hums while taking the ridiculous balloons from joohyun's hands.

 

"oh, you answered my question." joohyun smiles, "did she not celebrate with you?"

 

her words fall upon deaf ears because seungwan starts to play with the balloons like an overly excited child.

 

"these are so darn cute!" she squeals in glee, "it's like i'm walking all of them!"

 

the balloons hover and bounce against the floor, following the little nerd as she hopped around in the tiny space they had. joohyun chortles at the sight and shakes her head, perhaps not the best gift for someone turning twenty-one, but at least she's having fun.

 

"i looked like an idiot getting them, take good care of them." joohyun cringes at the memory, it’s something she never wants to go through again.

 

the little nerd nods with a large smile, pushing all the animals to a corner, "what's that then?" 

 

the decently wrapped present in joohyun's hand catches her eye, mostly because it's big and chunky too.

 

"your actual present. but i think you'd like the balloons more." joohyun giggles as she hands over the hulking package.

 

seungwan accepts it with a large grin and crouches on the ground. joohyun follows suit, settling cross-legged beside her. using the glow of her screen, the younger girl lifts it up to get a closer look, contemplating her present for a moment before speaking up.

 

"is it a bible?"

 

"what?"

 

"it feels like a heavy book." seungwan shrugs innocently.

 

"yah … why would i get you a bible … for your birthday ..?" joohyun quirks an eyebrow upwards as she laughs.

 

seungwan cracks into a cheeky smile, "it would be good to ward off demons like park sooyoung."

 

joohyun sighs with a tint of exasperation, “just open it."

 

the nerd nods before carefully ripping apart the paper that concealed her gift. she pulls out a neat white envelope before looking at her actual gift. it’s in fact, not a bible, but a book she’s been wanting for a while but never took the plunge to get it.

 

"so you did get me a bible, a horror bible." seungwan smirks in droll humour and is met with a light slap on her arm.

 

"yerim said you wanted this, i didn't really know what else to get you." joohyun explains with a small sigh. it's a little frustrating that everyone seems to know her soulmate better than her, but she supposes it can't be helped.

 

seungwan bobs her head and puts her horror bible down and she leans over to wrap joohyun in a tight hug. "you could've gotten me anything, or nothing at all, or even a real bible and i would love it.” seungwan nuzzles her face into the crook of joohyun's neck and lets out a contented sigh. “as long as it's you."

 

the senior reciprocates with her hands around seungwan's back. "i'm not getting you a goddamn bible, you cheese …"

 

seungwan chuckles and turns her attention to the pristine envelope wrapped with a ribbon and picks it up. joohyun bites her lower lip nervously, to say she poured her heart out into its creation is a mere understatement. but the contents hold a piece of her soul if she were to exaggerate. the younger girl opens it slowly, not wanting to accidentally rip anything apart. she pulls out a card, followed by some pieces of paper which have paragraphs on it.

 

“am i going to cry if i read everything?” seungwan asks while glancing at her girlfriend.

 

the darkness makes it hard to see each other but joohyun’s shoulders rise uncertainly before she beckons seungwan to start reading. 

 

“let me get comfy first.” the younger girl stands up and readjusts her position. she settles in joohyun’s legs, resting her back against her girlfriend’s chest.

 

“okay, birthday girl.” she chuckles lightly as she slinks her arms around seungwan.

 

with joohyun resting her chin on the crown of seungwan’s head, the birthday girl finally deems herself comfortable enough.

 

“shouldn’t you turn on the lights?”

 

“it’s fine,” seungwan dismisses her concern easily, “i can see.”

 

with the way her screen is angled and their position on the floor, it offers just enough light for her to make out the contents. seungwan starts with the card first, a large happy birthday is written in cursive across the front and she opens it with anticipation.

 

a large paper cake pops out in the middle, accompanied by a happy birthday son seungwan! just below it. it’s decorated with hand-drawn banners and balloons, with stickers and glitter all around the border.

 

“you did this all by yourself?”

 

“don’t laugh, i really tried … it’s been years since i’ve done anything like this.”

 

"it's endearing and i appreciate the effort."

 

she moves on to the essays that joohyun had thrown in too, thumbing over the ridges of the handwritten words. her eyes move over the letter slowly, taking in everything that her soulmate has to say.

 

‘happy birthday, seungwannie~

 

it’s been a couple of weeks since we started texting, a little under two weeks since we officially met but my world feels like a happier place with you in it. i’m grateful that you spoke the words on my wrist, as jumbled as they might be.

 

i have a terrible habit of not sharing things, but you make me want to try. i’m not as eloquent as i like to be, but i hope this will be able to convey just how much i feel for you.

 

so here goes nothing~

you’re insanely adorable, caring, smart. and you let me get away with just about anything. in those quiet moments that we have, sometimes you look at me with the softest eyes and i'm torn between squishing your cheeks and wrapping you in a big hug. you make yourself out to be this gawky nerd but when i think of you, all i can feel is your tenderness and warmth.

 

you're so good to me, i don't think i've ever been loved like this. i feel so very lucky to have you in my life, i'm glad we met, son seungwan. i can't seem to find the right words to properly describe what you make me feel yet, but when i do, i will be sure to let you know.

 

over the course of today, or rather since i’ve come to learn of your presence, i’ve noticed that your friends all know you much better than i do. you’re surrounded by good people who love you so much and i want to be one of them too. 

 

i’m really fond of you. i don’t want to use a stronger word like love just yet. i know, it’s dumb considering we’re soulmates afterall, but i’m afraid that i’ll mess things up. i’ve never been in any relationships, or even remotely infatuated, so this is all new to me.

 

but i mean everything i say, son seungwan. how i want to learn to love you, how i want a life with you. it might take a while but i want to show you all of that and more.

 

once again, happy birthday, my love. i look forward to every day we get to spend together.

 

yours always,

joohyun.’

 

a sniffle escapes seungwan’s throat and she blinks away the tears in her eyes. overwhelmed with emotions, especially love and adoration for her soulmate, she struggles to respond. seungwan does half a turn and buries her face in joohyun’s chest, snaking her arms around the older girl’s waist.

 

“you’re … the cheesy one …” the younger girl sniffles, voice muffled from the way she smushes her face into joohyun’s shirt.

 

joohyun lets out a small laugh and she cradles her soulmate, running a hand reassuringly down her arm. “we’re both cheesy, how about that?”

 

seungwan nods slowly and draws in a deep breath. the things she feels, the things that joohyun feels, they aren’t too far off. it’s nice to be able to relate to each other like this.

 

“i feel the same way too,” seungwan confesses, “it feels like i should know you better but we haven’t gotten to that stage yet. and i guess it’s okay, isn’t it?”

 

joohyun hums softly in agreement, “i’m making my peace with it, but yes, it’s okay if you don’t know every little detail about me nor i about you.”

 

“mhm … besides, you’ve really hit the nail on the head. i don’t think you’ll be needing a thesaurus any time soon.”

 

“my professors would be happy to know that,” the senior chuckles, “and i’m glad you understand, i don’t always share my feelings but i thought you would like to know.”

 

“well, i did like to know. thank you for sharing your little gay feelings with me.”

 

“yah …”

 

“i’m kidding, i genuinely do appreciate it. i want to be a good person in your life too.”

 

“you already are.”

 

not just a good person, but the best thing in her whole life.

 

the couple spends a little time soaking in nothing but love until seungwan remembers that she was in a call with her friends and left them hanging. she ditches them for the night and hangs out with joohyun instead, luna would probably yell about the bro code or something but she could care less. and to prove that they meant what they said, seungwan lets joohyun into her world of video games. specifically, introducing her to the universe of super smash bros.

 

seungwan tried getting seulgi to play with her but her poor friend kept walking off the arena. though she insisted it was fun, seungwan could tell it's just not seulgi's thing, so she stopped. besides, that's what her online friends are for.

 

still, teaching joohyun is something she doesn't mind in the slightest. it’s a little rough at the start, joohyun fumbling with the controls and all of the different characters and their variety of abilities. seungwan is merely glad that her soulmate is willing to give it a shot, though she'll be bummed out if it turns out like seulgi. it feels like this is all she’s ever wanted — to have someone to play video games with and enjoy themselves as much as she did.

 

whilst she worried over her girlfriend disliking the game, what she didn’t foresee is joohyun being insanely competitive and a fast learner. within two hours, the older girl is punting her character out of the map. in her defense, she isn’t the best at smash bros but her soulmate picking up the basic controls in two hours is a little too outrageous. we should do this more often , joohyun smirks after claiming victory for the third time in a row. 

 

and of course, how could seungwan say no? she huffs and bobs her head, sure, i’m not going to get my kicked every time though.

 

joohyun scoffs as she readies up, yeah, yeah. come on isabelle, let’s go for another match.

 

they spend the entire night playing an assortment of multiplayer games but joohyun seems to like competitive games the most, so they stuck with those. joohyun finally understands what yerim means about gamers and healthy living, her first night as an official gamer girl and she's sleeping at four in the morning. the older girl still drags them out for a nice dinner on her, which is also accompanied with some dessert hunting since her love seems to enjoy them. 

 

seungwan feels content at the end of the day, nerd things and sweet treats paired together only spells happiness. everything she could've ever asked for is slowly coming true. two months ago, she would've never expected to spend her birthday without her closest friends or family, but now she's got someone that triumphs all of them — her soulmate .

 

definitely not a loserly way to celebrate her coming of age, something she’d have to flex to all of her friends soon enough.

 


 

liked by hi_sseulgi and 3,460 others

renebaebae 💙

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yerimiese wow you’re so cryptic!

renebaebae @yerimese 🙄

28 february 2020

 

liked by todayis_wannie and 4,225 others

renebaebae 📷: 💙

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mo_onbyul i feel betrayed …

jennierubyjane lookin’ good as always 😉

7 march 2020

 

liked by yongsun and 3,537 others

renebaebae 🎮💙

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yerimiese NO WAY YOU’RE PLAYING SMASH RIGHT NOW

yongsun who are you and what have you done to my roommate?

15 march 2020

 

liked by yerimiese and 5,019 others

renebaebae taken by the best 💙

todayis_wannie 😳

yerimiese @todayis_wannie WHIPPED

renebaebae @yerimiese mad?

yerimiese @renebaebae oh my god @todayis_wannie is changing you

20 march 2020

 


 

with the semester break spanning six weeks, it meant that there’s plenty of time for seungwan and joohyun to do their gross little couple things and still have time to prepare for the future. for seungwan it’s merely a lot of pre-reading and preparing for the new year while joohyun is packing her life into little cardboard boxes. moving out isn’t as hard as it seems, it’s just a lot of packing and logistics which yongsun seemingly has under control. they decided a few months before graduation that they’d rent an apartment together for a little. yongsun didn’t have to do it but it would help joohyun stay a little longer in seoul and the latter couldn’t be more appreciative.

 

despite being busy with moving out of the apartment she’s called home for the last four years, joohyun still squeezes time out for dates with seungwan. perhaps they can’t be fully considered dates, sometimes she just heads over to seungwan’s dorm to play games. or to cuddle with a movie. or watch seungwan do her things while vibing to a playlist. sometimes they’d head out for a proper meal or to shop, but everything feels nice . joohyun chalks it up to the fact that it’s because they get to spend time together and that alone is enough for her.

 

the world is a much nicer place when you’ve got someone to love, it almost feels like nothing bad could ever happen as long as she’s got seungwan by her side. or at least, if anything did happen, they’d get through it together.

 

little does she know that this is merely the calm before the storm, the beginning of the end as one might say.

 

by march, joohyun is fully moved into her new apartment with yongsun. it’s an upgrade from what they had back on campus though it’s a little further from their soulmates. a few train stops feel like they’re ages away compared to a ten-minute walk. seungwan doesn’t mind travelling, joohyun’s new apartment had an oven, which meant they could actually have a baking date.

 

it’s the second last weekend before the new school year, which means seungwan would be thrown into another year of extreme mugging and joohyun would finally be graduating into the working world. what other time would they have to bake some delicious fudgy brownies?

 

their morning starts with a trip to the supermarket, they need ingredients and joohyun needs to get groceries for the week, it works in her favour.

 

they spend a long time getting everything despite seungwan making a list. joohyun getting distracted by things they could possibly add did not help in the slightest. we won’t need marshmallows, unnie, it’s going to be too sweet , seungwan sighs. however true that might be, they do leave with an extra pack of chocolate chips instead.

 

baking is definitely not her forte, heck, joohyun could barely cook, why would she learn to bake? lucky for her, her girlfriend had talents in the kitchen. she guides joohyun step by step, instructing her with some light supervision, only stepping in if she was going to mess up.

 

joohyun has to admit that she’s considering picking up baking because of seungwan. it’s not something she’d picture herself doing, she really should try new activities every once in a while. it doesn't take too long before the batter is baking in the oven and they play the waiting game.

 

joohyun gets a headstart on the cleaning, though the kitchen isn’t as messy as she anticipated — probably due to how seungwan wipes away any spills immediately. i've got it , joohyun reassures as she dismisses her girlfriend to relax. the younger girl still helps in putting everything away, insisting that they’re a team after all.

 


 

seungwan settles at the counter and whips her phone up to just check in on seulgi and sooyoung. the highschooler, or now, an upcoming university freshman, had gotten into a veterinary science course and is about to join the duo of best friends at university. seulgi had been helping her soulmate move in but she probably brought way too many things, so it’s been taking longer than expected.

 

seungwan:

how’s everything?

2:21 pm

 

seulbear 🐻:

she almost fought her roommate!!! can you believe her??

2:25 pm

 

everything’s all good now though

2:25 pm

 

how’s things on your side?

2:25 pm

 

seungwan:

why am i not surprised?

2:25 pm

 

brownies are baking right now

2:26 pm

 

all is well over on the other side

2:26 pm

 

seulbear 🐻:

look at how far you’ve come wannie 🥳🥳

2:26 pm

 

look at us, we’re not spending time together for once!!

2:26 pm

 

seungwan:

😔 we gotta hang out soon

2:27 pm

 

seulbear 🐻:

gotcha you clingy nerd

2:27 pm

 

sooyoung’s pestering me, talk to you later bud!!

2:27 pm

 

seungwan:

i’ll bring brownies back for you guys 👍

2:27 pm

 

seulbear 🐻:

you’re the best 😘😘

2:28 pm

 

she’s just about to put her phone down when a text from yeri draws her attention. seungwan reads the text without expecting much, assuming that it’ll be patch notes for one of their games or something along the lines of that.

 

yeri:

have you seen this

2:28 pm

 

(photo)

2:28 pm

 

without opening the image, all she sees is a preview depicting a screenshot from the university's unofficial confession page.

 

a space for students to vent about anything and everything, all under anonymity. with that said, it leaves room for posts ranging from uplifting and positive to downright vile and hateful.

 

seungwan:

what's this?

2:29 pm

 

why are you on SNUConfessions anyway?

2:29 pm

 

yeri:

bread sent me an old post and i went to read the newer ones

2:29 pm

 

why are people so ing mean?

2:29 pm

 

yeri’s words provided a hint at what the contents might hold, so she readies herself for something negative. seungwan opens the unsuspecting picture with a tinge of worry.

 

#53605: irene found her soulmate and it’s a big yikes from me.’

 

her breathing hitches and she feels her heart drop to the pit of her stomach when she takes in each word of this confession. it’s a short sentence, yet it feels like she’s taken a stab to the gut. tabbing away from yeri’s chat, she heads to the source of the posts. she has to see it for herself. 

 

snuconfessions

8,423    2,290         0

posts     followers    following

SNU Confessions

not affiliated with seoul national university.

dm for any inquiries

submit confessions here: snuconfessions.com/submit

 

scrolling through the recent confessions only showed that all anyone had to talk about is irene and her new soulmate. this page is nothing but bad news and she knows better than to continue to read ty confessions like these but her curiosity gets the better of her.

 

'#53612: no lie, i’m happy when people find their soulmates but in irene’s case, it doesn’t feel like they’re a good match. her soulmate is in one of my lectures and wow, she is definitely out of irene’s league.’

 

'#53615: wait no way … irene found her soulmate and it's some girl nobody's ever heard of?'

 

#53620: @#53612: totally agree with you there. for someone like irene, i thought she’d get somebody more imposing like her.’

 

in a sea of mostly hateful comments, the positive ones do nothing to ease the unrest that's made a home in her heart. the shock that came with finding out that strangers on the internet are hating her for merely being joohyun's soulmate is jarring. being bae joohyun's soulmate is nice, but being irene’s soulmate makes the tattoo on her wrist feel like a curse. 

 

"seungwan-ah? are you listening to me?"

 

huh? seungwan looks up from her phone, feeling a slight strain in her neck from how long she's spent bent over the device. she must’ve missed joohyun’s words because the older girl is looking at her, awaiting a reply.

 

"i said, the brownies are pretty much done." joohyun repeats with a smile, "what's gotten your attention?"

 

"nothing." she replies shortly, not wanting to let this ball of hurt rear its ugly head when they are having a good day.

 

fortunately, the senior pays too much attention to her love. a small crinkle between her brows, a tightened jaw, a shift in her aura. telltale signs that something is bothering seungwan.

 

“what’s wrong?” joohyun doesn’t try to hide her concern, she makes her way over to her girlfriend who’s seated at the kitchen counter. resting her weight on her elbows, the senior stares intently at her younger girlfriend to assess her.

 

“it’s nothing.” seungwan repeats firmly, “let’s get the brownies out.” she hopes that a change of topic could prevent joohyun from digging further. 

 

but it doesn’t. her girlfriend continues to question her.

 

“seungwan,” a tone of sternness seeps through the older girl’s words as she places a hand on seungwan’s arm, “something is bothering you, what happened?”

 

on top of the already overwhelming feelings, joohyun’s persistence is stifling for seungwan. she doesn’t feel like talking, or explaining. so she hands her phone over with the terrible instagram page still opened, displaying one of the milder confessions.

 

joohyun quirks her eyebrow before reading the contents and then she understands the situation. desensitized, the model returns the phone with tight lips. 

 

navigating comments like these is something she’s gotten really good at, she’s had this garbage confessions page blocked since her third year of school. blowing up in her second year was the hardest, learning how to deal with all her newfound fame and attention was a challenge. she's seen the good and bad sides of it all. in the end, blocking the negative things out like these is much better for her mental health.

 

“ignore them, people will say what they want to say.” joohyun leans in a little closer and rests her hand on seungwan’s head, giving her a light pat on the head.

 

the gentle affection is numbed by the turmoil bubbling in her chest. seungwan isn’t someone who can easily block things out, unlike her girlfriend who seems to be unfazed by it. without thinking too much, her brain seems to be in fight or flight mode and the words just seem to flow out of .

 

"is it alright if we called it a day? i just …" she trails off as she fixes her gaze on anything but joohyun. on one hand, she’s worried that her girlfriend would be upset. but on the other, she really doesn’t want to be around anyone at all, including the girlfriend she’s so fond of.

 

the senior straightens herself up, clearly, this is a much bigger issue than she thought it'd be. "it's okay, i know it must feel like a lot right now but just block the page and move on." she coos softly, "we can't control what people have to say."

 

"i know … but i just …" the little nerd can't seem to find the right words or any words at all. all she wants to do is hide under her duvets, safe from the world that's hurting her.

 

joohyun finds her way beside her soulmate and pulls her into an embrace, enveloping her in loving warmth.

 

"i'm sorry … i really don't feel up for anything right now, can i call you later instead?" seungwan mumbles weakly as she extricates herself from her girlfriend and prepares to leave.

 

slightly taken aback, joohyun lets go. of all the sides of her soulmate she's seen, this is the one where she finds herself lost on what to do. specializing in criminal and forensic psychology, she’s much better at reading people’s behaviours instead of empathising with them. she's not good when people are sad or upset, most of the time she just represses all the negative feelings so how good can she be at emotional support?

 

"don't go, we can talk about this." she tries gently, unsure of how effective it would be to persuade her soulmate. and well, it doesn't work.

 

seungwan pleads quietly without meeting her gaze, "joohyun, please … not now …"

 

she lets the younger girl shrug out of her grasp and head out the door. the scent of freshly baked brownies wafts in the air as the front door clicks shut. how did their day go downhill so fast?

 

, she's not sure what she did wrong, but she’s obviously mishandled the situation. she's not going to let this pass like she usually does. this matters, seungwan matters.

 

“seungwan, wait!” joohyun chases after her soulmate and manages to catch her before she gets too far. she pulls her back and grabs her arms tightly, preventing her from taking another step.

 

seungwan is on the verge of tears and she looks at joohyun for the first time, “not now, please, i just want to be alone for awhile …” she begs softly as she pries joohyun’s hands away from hers.

 

“those are just some dumb comments, seungwan-ah. those people don’t know what they’re talking about.” joohyun attempts to hug her seungwannie but she's met with a harsh rejection. seungwan stiffens and dodges her soulmate's arms, something she never thought she'd do.

 

"but they do know, you're pretty and smart and kind and … i'm just me …" she looks away from joohyun. 

 

"and you’re my soulmate. what other people say or think doesn't matter to me." joohyun tries to reassure her love softly, though it’s apparent that she’s not up for listening now.

 

"but it does to me.”

 

instinctively, her legs begin to move. she’s not going to fight, she doesn’t want to fight. seungwan hurries off while joohyun is left in the cold empty corridor. dumbfounded, the older girl merely watches as her soulmate leaves, not quite processing what has just gone down.

 


 

joohyun figures that she could give seungwan some space. they don’t talk for the rest of the day. seungwan is too caught up in her emotions and joohyun is busy hunting down the admins behind SNUConfessions

 

incurring the wrath of bae joohyun is almost the equivalent of a death sentence and this ing people behind the confessions page is going to face hell. it doesn’t take much effort at all, she had plenty of connections that are more than willing to help her out. since the whole world now knows that son seungwan is her soulmate, they can also be made aware that she is fuming.

 

the page is inactive within hours and she’s got the names of everyone who sent in those horrible confessions about the love of her life. they can be sure that their future employers will know of their atrocious behaviours on social media.

 

by nightfall, joohyun is a moping mess on the couch. she’s eaten a piece of the brownie they’d baked, and sure, the brownies are delicious but nothing feels right without seungwan. she chances a text to her girlfriend, hoping that she’ll be up for talking but she’s met with silence.

 

she doesn’t understand why seungwan would react so harshly, sure, it’s a pretty horrible thing to face but they could’ve worked through it together, probably talk it out even. and now, seungwan isn’t even responding — and the younger girl never takes more than an hour to respond.

 

the absence of son seungwan , what a horrible feeling.

 


 

seulgi knows something is up when seungwan is back without the brownies she promised. there were other signs too, like how the nerd didn’t greet her upon her return, or how she’s playing that pixel farming game with a frown.

 

she knows wannie a little too well at this point, something’s bothering her and she just needs time to process it. when she’s ready, then they’ll talk. or they won’t if seungwan decides it’s not worth mentioning. but something about her best friend’s aura tells her that it’s pretty serious.

 

seulgi:

I NEED HELP

12:10 am

 

wannie’s upset

12:10 am

 

sooyoungie 💕:

yes baby?

12:10 am

 

did she blow money on gacha games again?

12:10 am

 

seulgi:

no … she’s back on stardew valley

12:11 am

 

sooyoungie 💕:

oh, it’s that serious?

12:11 am

 

seulgi:

i think so

12:11 am

 

do you think it’s joohyun?

12:11 am

 

sooyoungie 💕:

maybe? but they’ve been acting so gross for the past month

12:12 am

 

let me do some research

12:12 am

 

seulgi lets her soulmate do her magic. sooyoung doesn’t always show it but she secretly loves wannie just as much as seulgi does. if anyone can find out what’s going on without directly asking seungwan, it’ll probably be sooyoung.

 

it takes five minutes before sooyoung is spamming her with screenshots from a deplorable confessions page. seulgi doesn’t subscribe to gossipy nonsense like that though she knows plenty of other people who enjoy the drama. a quick skim through and the best friend is mad, she could protect seungwan in the real world, but in the digital world? it’s just not possible.

 

her heart aches at the sight of seungwan being hurt, she loves her best friend to death and it just feels so wrong for absolute strangers to treat her like this.

 

“wannie.” seulgi calls out quietly. it’s now the middle of the night and seungwan has been playing stardew valley for the last eight hours, it’s pretty darn serious in seulgi’s perception.

 

seungwan removes her headset to glance at her best friend who’s just come out of the shower, she hums quietly. the bear-like girl doesn’t say much, she wraps her little nerd in a light hug before letting go. seungwan stiffens in her arms, ready to push her away but she knows seulgi isn’t like joohyun, there’s no pressure to talk or to explain anything at all.

 

“whenever you’re ready, okay? i love you.”

 

“thanks, seul.”

 

“i’m getting breakfast with sooyoungie tomorrow, i’ll get you something too.”

 

“can you get me a latte too?”

 

“sure. don’t stay up too late.”

 

“i’ll try.”

 


 

joohyun-unnie:

hey … i hope everything’s okay, talk to me soon?

1:31 am

 

joohyun-unnie:

seungwan-ah … 🥺

10:03 am

 

joohyun-unnie:

can you at least reply so i know you’re okay?

12:32 pm

 

i know the whole thing must be quite shocking, can we talk it out?

12:32 pm

 

joohyun-unnie:

yah … son seungwan, it’s been a full day …

9:12 pm

 

are you really just going to ignore me?

9:12 pm

 

joohyun-unnie:

are you … mad at me?

3:03 am

 

can you please just type something?

3:03 am

 

i’m worried about you

3:03 am

 

joohyun-unnie:

fine … note taken. 

11:43 am

 


 

seungwan doesn’t really know what to feel by the next day. throwing herself into the safe, farming world of stardew valley helped to distract her for a little but the thoughts keep coming back.

 

joohyun, along with her online friends have been blowing up her phone, so she switched it off entirely. logging out of all social platforms, she essentially disconnects herself from the entire world. she’ll worry them, she knows, but she can’t stand to be around anyone, both online and offline. her thoughts are so overwhelming, she can’t help but begin to take them as the truth.

 

maybe joohyun is too good for her. maybe she’s not worthy to be an instagram model’s soulmate. maybe she’s just not enough.

 

sooyoung comes over and her friends pretend like nothing is wrong, but maybe it’s just so they can keep an eye on her. she can feel their worry radiating off them so she tries to ease the unwanted tension by scoffing at their childish arguments. but even she could tell that it’s forced, how would they believe her?

 

the atmosphere is stifling and sooyoung breaks the silence with her usual forwardness once she’s sick of the tension. we saw the posts and they’re full of , she hisses. seungwan merely acknowledges them with a small nod, she wishes she could believe that. seulgi, on the other hand, doesn’t say much. unlike sooyoung, she’s not very vocal when it comes to anger. if anything, she’s more upset because it to celebrate seungwan’s progress only to have some idiots ruin it with a bunch of senseless comments. 

 

seungwan tells her friends that she appreciates them and she’ll be okay in a little bit. they leave her to her games, trusting that she’ll bounce back with a little time. she spends hours festering in her thoughts while mindlessly planting flowers and vegetables in her virtual farm. nobody could get her here, nobody can hurt her if she’s not the soulmate of irene, nobody knows her if she’s just azure.

 

she’ll definitely need to explain things to joohyun once she’s done processing it all, whenever that might be. for now, it’s easier to not exist as son seungwan.

 


 

desperate times call for desperate measures. seungwan doesn’t respond for an entire day and joohyun decides that she has to do something. texting her cousin proved to be useless because her soulmate has ghosted her online friends too, messaging seulgi didn’t help much either — just give her a little time , seulgi advised with nothing more.

 

a little time? joohyun knows what it’s like to not want to talk to people but at least she doesn’t ghost them and leave them hanging and wondering if they’ve done something wrong. this whole thing isn’t her fault, but why does it feel like she’s the one who said all those hurtful things?

 

if seungwan isn’t going to reply, then joohyun is going to find a way.

 

the senior makes her way to the aquila dorms in the afternoon. it’s been three days since they’ve last talked or met and joohyun justifies that she’s given seungwan enough time. she wants to hash things out and if her girlfriend is so intent on pushing her away, at least she could just check on her. 

 

walking to seungwan’s dorm almost feels natural at this point, she’s been over so many times now the other residents might mistake her as one of them. seulgi answers the door with a tightened jaw, it takes some convincing but she ends up dragging sooyoung out so the two could have some privacy.

 

joohyun stands at the door, waiting for seungwan to invite her in but the younger girl merely stares at her blankly. her face is devoid of any expression and her eyes just looked hollow — a stark contrast from what joohyun is used to. a dishevelled look coupled with swollen eyes tells the older girl all she needs to know, seungwan isn’t okay at all.

 

“can we talk?” joohyun chances, “please, seungwan.”

 

seungwan contemplates the girl standing before her, every negative emotion she’s been working to get over comes rushing back. and god does she feel horrible right now, but she couldn’t find it in herself to turn her soulmate away. she’s already ghosted her, pushing her away would only hurt their relationship even more.

 

she bobs her head slowly and invites her girlfriend in. she lets joohyun sit on the bed while she sits in her chair, doubting that she can handle any sort of close proximity confrontation now.

 

“you can start.” seungwan hugs her knees to her chest and looks at the ground. she’s not ready to talk but she doesn’t really have a choice when joohyun is forcing her way through.

 

exhaling slowly, joohyun starts with a clenched fist, “i get that you’re upset, but the way you’re dealing with this makes me worried.”

 

“sorry, i’ll be fine.”

 

the senior sighs quietly, she doesn’t know how exactly to go about this. their relationship isn’t broken, but it needs some sort of fixing. seungwan being so morose isn’t going to help either, this is going to be much harder to navigate than she anticipated. “seungwan, i know how it feels to suddenly be criticised for the dumbest reasons. it’s not easy but it’s something you can learn to ignore.”

 

“it’s not a dumb reason, i’m getting hate just for being your soulmate.” seungwan counters, her fingers tightening around her arms, “it’s not even something i have control over.”

 

the older girl nods, she knows this feeling. but she buried it a long time ago, rendering her numb to the hurt. between the two of them, she supposes she’s faced the brunt of it all. and if she can deal with it, seungwan can too.

 

“people will spew all sorts of hate, but they don’t know you, they don’t know us. their opinions don’t matter when it’s our relationship.”

 

“yet, it’s not just one or two people, there’s a whole wave of them.”

 

“i know … but there are supportive people too. point is, we can’t control what they have to say.” joohyun offers with a gentle smile. 

 

watching seungwan is – hard . in a span of a day, her soulmate has turned into someone she doesn’t recognise. her adorable little love huddling away in the darkness of her dorm with nothing but anguish for company, it makes her heart wrench.

 

the younger girl looks up at joohyun for the first time but doesn't quite meet her gaze, “yeah it is out of our control, but it doesn’t mean it hurts any less.” she spits a little more harshly than she intended to.

 

joohyun nods slowly, “accepting that there’s nothing you can do about it will make things easier.” she contemplates getting up and approaching her soulmate but decides against it quickly, seungwan looks like she’ll only push her away. her gaze never leaves her girlfriend, she looks tired, like the life has been drained out of her.

 

“i’m not like you, joohyun. i’m not immune to these comments." seungwan snaps, finally meeting joohyun's eyes. the hollowness is replaced with a look of subdued resentment and joohyun acknowledges that she’s brought this upon them. there's nothing more heartbreaking than seeing someone you love get hurt because of you. 

 

the nerd continues to speak through ground teeth, "it hurts to see absolute strangers comment on me, on us. as if it wasn’t already hard enough to get where we are now.”

 

“so why don’t we focus on us?" joohyun gets up and tries to approach seungwan, "there’s no need to pay attention to people who have nothing nice to say.”

 

the senior pulls a chair and sits right in front of her girlfriend who looks away. she tries to take seungwan's hand but the younger girl merely jerks back like she's been burnt. swallowing nervously, joohyun decides against all physical forms of affection until they've finished talking it out.

 

"if it hurts, why do you care so much, seungwan-ah?"

 

her question is met with silence. seungwan takes a moment to weigh whether joohyun would understand if she bared her heart out, if she shared her insecurities as she does with seulgi. they’ve been okay so far, maybe it’ll be okay now too.

 

“because a part of me thinks that they’re right." seungwan admits with a shaky breath. thinking about it only causes pressure to begin building at the bridge of her nose and she clenches her jaw to ease it. she averts her gaze towards the ground, unable to maintain any sort of eye contact for the fear of breaking down.

 

the sight of seungwan on the verge of tears shatters joohyun's heart. her soulmate deserves nothing but the best but seungwan doesn't even believe that she’s worthy of that. 

 

"what are they right about?" joohyun questions softly with the intention to dispute every one of these hate comments.

 

a sniffle is heard from seungwan but she buries her face in her hands quickly. "if we lived in a world without these tattoos, without the certainty of a bond that ties us together," the younger girl's voice grows softer as she speaks, her voice is on the precipice of breaking and eventually, it does. 

 

"i don't think you would even look at me."

 

joohyun watches her soulmate speak with trembling lips, experiencing a pang of betrayal as she listens. at the same time, her blood begins to simmer at seungwan's words, she has learnt that her soulmate is more than insecure, but this is too much. 

 

joohyun tries her best to hold in her anger, but it's bursting at the seams. after the past few weeks they’ve spent together, she’s hurt that seungwan has so little faith in her. all she can manage is a hushed tone that's filled with rage. "are you really listening to what other people have to say?"

 

"am i wrong?" seungwan challenges, but her voice steadily declines into a strangled whisper, almost in resignation of her fate. "it's all because of these tattoos that bind us together, these tattoos make us feel things for each other. what people are saying isn't wrong, i am out of your league."

 

the audacity of son seungwan. joohyun is never a violent person, she would never hurt seungwan, but the urge to punch something is growing by the second.

 

"so what if it's because of the tattoos? it doesn't make my feelings any less real, it doesn't make you less of my soulmate," joohyun explodes in fury as she rises from her seat, “ are you really doubting my feelings for you?”

 

“answer me truthfully, if we didn’t have these tattoos, would a girl like me even catch your eye?”

 

the senior lets out a short, hard laugh that grates like broken glass, “are you being serious right now?”

 

“answer me, joohyun!”

 

“no!”  joohyun snarls, “is that what you want to hear?” 

 

maybe it is. that’s all seungwan needs to hear to spiral further away from being joohyun’s soulmate. the insecurities she’s been working to overcome are reappearing with a newfound persistence, hearing confirmation from her soulmate’s lips only amplifies them.

 

as soon as the words leave her lips, joohyun begins to hate every bit of her existence. she should’ve listened to seulgi, yerim, literally everyone who told her to give seungwan space. the fact that she doesn’t know seungwan as well as they do mocks her once again, she really should’ve ing stayed home.

 

a tense silence settles between the two. seungwan is trying to ignore the tightening in her chest by digging her nails into her arms, anything to stop her tears from falling. she’s not going to cry in front of joohyun. meanwhile, joohyun draws a deep breath into her lungs, shutting her eyes as she forces herself to calm down. she holds back her anger, her hurt, her regret — every single emotion that she feels in that moment because she knows that it’ll only make things worse. her emotions are making her irrational and though everything she’s said is merely out of impulse, she has the feeling that seungwan will cling onto every single word.

 

they are polar opposites, coming from different backgrounds and worlds entirely. seungwan wouldn’t find herself in joohyun’s world and neither would joohyun find herself in seungwan’s. perhaps it’s by blind chance that they have each other, but what could be so bad about it? why are they focusing on the what ifs instead of what they’ve currently got? she tries to debate against seungwan’s flawed logic, she can’t understand why seungwan is doing this but maybe she could break down where she’s coming from.

 

“we’re very different people, seungwan.” joohyun reasons softly, “how else would our worlds have collided?”

 

“so you agree that we’re only together because of these tattoos?”

 

“seungwan, it doesn’t matter. in this world, we have these tattoos and that’s that.” joohyun exhales sharply. it feels like her words are falling on deaf ears, seungwan is nothing but a void that can’t see reason. ”i get that you're insecure but this is a bit much, isn't it?”

 

seungwan looks her dead in the eyes, something has shifted. in her aura, in her tone, this isn’t the son seungwan she’s come to be so fond of. 

 

“i think you’ve said enough.”

 

“i didn’t mean it like that,” joohyun lets out a frustrated sigh and picks her words with extra caution, “what i want to say is that you’re not exactly rational about this whole thing.”

 

with a hardened gaze, seungwan grinds her teeth. “well . sorry i’m not like you, joohyun. ” she sneers, unleashing her wrath upon the only person who’s made to love her, “sorry i can’t be ing confident, sorry i can’t handle a little bit of hate. sorry i don’t enjoy sharing my private life with thousands of strangers. sorry i’m insecure, i’m sorry that you’re stuck with me!”

 

joohyun is taken aback by her sudden outburst, where has her adorable little soulmate gone? her jaw drops and she gapes at a loss for how to respond.

 

in a meek voice, she tries to defend herself, “i think you’re misunderstanding where i’m coming from.”

 

“sure i am, but so are you.” seungwan’s tone seeps with scathing hostility to the point that it genuinely scares joohyun. 

 

“look, i’m sorry, i didn’t mean what i said. can we do this over in a calm and rational manner?”

 

“no, we can’t.” the younger girl snaps, “i can’t say this politely and i might regret this, but off, joohyun. i already told you i don’t want to talk. so just leave, will you?”

 

joohyun swallows thickly and nods her head slowly, “okay.”

 

with that, the older girl walks away, leaving her soulmate to wrestle with her thoughts. things have turned out much more disastrous than she’d ever thought they could. how they are ever going to fix this is a conundrum she’ll have to solve, probably with a lengthy apology to go along with.

 


 

exiting the room, joohyun bumps into seulgi and sooyoung who look at her with varying expressions. the duo had never left, they probably heard everything considering how thin the walls are. seulgi tosses her a disappointed glance but doesn't say much, she enters the room to pick up the pieces that joohyun had left in her wake. meanwhile, sooyoung stares down at her relentlessly with folded arms, if seungwan never told her what the highschooler is actually like, she would be intimidated.

 

"she's not like you," the taller girl starts, "you know that, right?"

 

joohyun responds shortly, clearly not in the mood for talking after what has just gone down. "of course i do."

 

"so why are you treating it like she'll get over it in a few days?"

 

"i'm not, " joohyun narrows her gaze. if sooyoung wants a confrontation, then she'll get it. "i've been patient, i've tried giving her space, i've tried to talk to her. what else do you want me to do?"

 

sooyoung clenches her jaw, eyeing the older girl with a scornful gaze. "that's not what she hears from you. in her head, you're practically telling her to it up."

 

"when have i done that?” joohyun questions incredulously, “all i've been saying is to ignore them."

 

"isn't that pretty much the same thing?"

 

"how would you talk to her then?"

 

"don't downplay this, it's a big deal, your love can't erase the hurt that she's been dealt." sooyoung grunts, "she’s got tunnel vision when it comes to her own emotions, gets locked up in a never-ending cycle of vicious thoughts. sometimes she just needs someone to coax her out of it, not make it worse. what you're saying is not what she wants to hear.”

 

if joohyun hadn’t stormed here demanding to talk to seungwan, maybe she would’ve been a little kinder. but this absolute garbage that’s, unfortunately, seungwan’s soulmate had the nerve to hurt her even more. there’s no way in hell sooyoung could just take it lying down, she’ll never admit it but seungwan has been a great friend since they’ve met, she’s not going to let this piece of get away so easily.

 

"i'm trying my best here, sooyoung.” the senior lets out an exasperated sigh, “she's the one that's pushing me away."

 

"she's trying her best too, in case you haven't noticed. this is just how she deals with things that upset her."

 

"how am i supposed to know anything if all she does is ghost me?"

 

"didn't she say she wanted to be alone? isn't that clear enough?"

 

"yeah but it's been days, we should hash it out at some point."

 

"she'll talk when she's ready, not when you're tired of her absence.” sooyoung hisses sharply, “if she draws a line somewhere, you better ing respect that line. this includes your flaunting on social media too."

 

joohyun exhales sharply through her nostrils, "i got her approval for every single post."

 

"of course she’ll say it’s okay, she's never going to outrightly deny you even if she isn't comfortable.” sooyoung scoffs, “one, deep down, she's willing to give it a shot and two, you're her soulmate, how could she ever deny the love of her life? you have more leverage than any ing one in her life but that doesn't mean you can go stomping over her."

 

joohyun bites back a retort, she's been guilty of doing that, even if it's with innocent intentions. maybe she should be listening to sooyoung instead of looking for answers to retaliate, so she lets the younger girl continue to reprimand her. but the next sentence comes off as offensive to joohyun.

 

"you're lucky she's this easy with you.”

 

" easy? what part of any of this is easy? " joohyun challenges the highschooler, taking a closer step towards her, as if she could come off as intimidating to park sooyoung.

 

sooyoung lets a wry laugh escape her lips, "i've known her for almost two years now and it took her six months for her to start bantering with me. you think you have it hard?"

 

"friendships and relationships are two different things."

 

"it's not about that, it's about how she treats the people around her. the relationships she's built with the people around her take time. it’s like she lives in a carefully curated world. she takes ages to get comfortable and just about ing forever to fully open up to someone.” sooyoung glares at the smaller girl, jabbing her finger into her shoulder mercilessly, “so yeah, you have it easy."

 

joohyun eyes the younger girl who seems bent on getting on her nerves, smacking her invasive hand away. "it's because we're soulmates, we're meant for each other. if i'm not meant to be someone she can trust and confide in, then what's the point?" she counters with a scowl.

 

sooyoung draws a deep breath, talking to joohyun is infuriating. the audacity of this piece of garbage to act like she has a right to seungwan. "the point is, you can't just waltz into her life and act like you deserve her just because you're her soulmate. you haven't taken the time to fully know her and yet, you claim to love her already. how do you even know if how you love her is the best way to love her?"

 

though she’s in no mood to continue listening, sooyoung has just shown her a serious revelation. in all honesty, she’s never thought of it this way before. joohyun bites her lower lip in guilt and sooyoung can see that she’s gotten her point across.

 

"maybe you’re still new to this, but you’ll find out soon enough that while these tattoos bind us with attraction, the love is up to us. beyond the words, it still requires effort. it's still a ing commitment. saying you love someone and actually loving them are two very different things, and we both know the prior is much easier." sooyoung begins to take her leave, she’s said more than enough but there’s just one last thing she has to get off her chest.

 

"she thinks that you're too good for her, but honestly, from what i’m seeing, maybe you're the one that doesn't deserve her."

 

sooyoung walks away, a victor in this battle of seungwan. it feels like she's fought a war in the stead of her unnie and if joohyun is hurting, then good, it’s what she deserves for messing with the wrong nerd.

 

a thought that has never occurred to joohyun before pops up — maybe seungwan would be better off without her in the first place. 

 

she doesn’t linger, the feeling of being so out of place has never felt stronger. she makes a hasty exit from the aquila dorms and potentially seungwan's life entirely. it’s evident that her presence has left a blazing trail of anguish in seungwan’s life, would it be better if they had never met at all? could she have saved seungwan from this unnecessary misery if she’d never approached her?

 

she doesn’t know, but the least she could do now is smother it before it gets any worse.

 

everyone views tattoos differently, some positive, some negative. at the end of the day, they are just tattoos. no matter how binding they may seem, nothing is permanent. 

 

with enough distance, with enough time, even love can fade into nothing.

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ILJIDO
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