Ch.1

Last Christmas

Once bitten and twice shy

I keep my distance

But you still catch my eye

Tell me, baby

Do you recognize me?

Well, it's been a year

It doesn't surprise me

 

You’re not really sure what made you agree to meet Jennie. Maybe it was still the lingering questions and bitterness from all those years ago, maybe it was the sense of yearning for the past, maybe it was the way she asked you in a way you’ve never heard her speak: hesitant, squeaky as if she too was deciding whether this was the best choice or not.

Standing in front of her now, your heart burns with a spark of affection for your ex but it doesn’t swell with love and awe. She’s even more beautiful than you remember her to be but she doesn’t leave you breathless nor does it rekindle any feelings that you once had for the idol. Your lips twitch at the shocked look on her face when she realized that you actually showed up, amused at the idea of Jennie thinking you wouldn’t show up.

“Hi,” Jennie whispers, setting the menu down to look at you. Like you, seeing her ex again after so many years ignited a small flame fueled by the memories of the years spent together but it doesn’t leave her wanting more. You merely hum and sit down across from her, pouring yourself a glass of wine. Neither of you say anything as the waiter comes by to take your order, the silence being drowned out by the conversations around you. You took comfort in the silence though, twirling the glass of wine in your hand and looking out the window.

The silence wasn’t new to Jennie or you after all.

 

I wrapped it up and sent it

With a note saying "I love you"

I meant it

Now I know what a fool I've been

But if you kissed me now

I know you'd fool me again

 

Neither Jennie nor you were ever that good at communicating, even when you were together. Silence was always a constant companion no matter where the two of you went, as were the light brushes of the hands or the occasional glances that conveyed all the love in the world to one another. It was enough years ago, to never speak of the bond between you and Jennie, but you had to know that the silence would eventually become too much.

Setting her glass down, Jennie forced a smile on her face and broke the silence with a question, “Do you remember the first time you took me here? You were practically sweating bullets and almost bumped into the waiter going to the bathroom.” You let out a small chuckle, thinking back to that night with a fondness for the simpler times: of when you stumbled on every word in the presence of the idol, of when even the simplest things would make you smile. You remember the wine staining your shirt and the far too sweet cheesecake, the taste making you wince. You remember the way Jennie smiled and laughed, how it made you ache and burn.

“I kissed you in the snow that night,” you mutter, “it was freezing and I kept saying how much I hated the snow, but the way you looked that night…”

“I was caked in snow with bits of the cheesecake on my face, you know.” She remarked, smiling nonetheless at the memory and you laugh, feeling the tension leaving your body and the awkwardness fade away. The memories of the past resurface as you dig into your dinner: that time at the beach where a seagull kept chasing you around, that time where you tripped and got tomato sauce all over her, that time you took care of Jennie when she tripped during practice and sprained her ankle, the times where the two of you would sneak off to buy ice cream or share a secret kiss. The memories of lazy mornings and quick coffee dates, the memories of late night phone calls while she was touring with her members, the-

You place your fork down, the small smile turning into a frown as the happy memories fade away. You look at Jennie and remember the silence that came after. The way you walked on eggshells in the apartment, the inability to express your fears and frustrations, much less your love and support, the slow transition from lovers to something less. Suddenly the time away from each other started to drive a wedge between the two of you, the apartment grew colder and the bed larger than it seemed. Jennie sees the look on your face and understands and it ignites an angry flame inside of you. Even now, with the two of you parting ways, neither of you know what to say.

 

Last Christmas

I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year

To save me from tears

I'll give it to someone special

 

“...We broke up here too, didn’t we?”

Your voice cracked at the end of the question, the emotions clogging up your throat as you thought back to that night.

“We don’t love each other anymore.”

A simple statement, one that you knew as truth for a long time now if you were being honest. You couldn’t possibly lie and say that whatever feelings started this relationship was still there, that you were still in love with Jennie.

For a moment, Jennie’s eyes burned with hatred and she wanted so badly to scream and yell, to ask why didn’t you fight harder, why couldn’t you have asked her to do better, why weren’t they working anymore. It dims when she sees the defeated look on your face and sighs, knowing that she couldn’t blame you for any of it.

Reaching into your pocket, your hands find the small velvet box and pulled it out to show Jennie, “I thought- I mean- it wasn’t going to work but-”

 

A crowded room

Friends with tired eyes

I'm hiding from you

And your soul of ice

My god, I thought you were someone to rely on

Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on

 

Her eyes widened at the sight of the box but softened at your attempts to explain yourself, tearing up at the sight of you crumbling before her. You, who stood by her side through the tears and stress of being an idol, the one who lent her a shoulder to cry on, the one who became her shield in the wretched life she was living. For the first time, Jennie became the strong one, watching with tearful eyes as you tried to explain yourself. 

That night, the cheesecake was sour and it rained instead of snowed.

 

A face on a lover with a fire in his heart

A man under cover, but you tore me apart

Now I've found a real love. You'll never fool me again

 

“I know that it was mutual and we both agreed that it was better to go our separate ways, but it still hurt to admit it,” gripping the ring box, you bit your lips in an attempt to stop the tears, “I don’t think I ever got over it.”

“Even now?”

“I- I don’t know. I’ve moved on, I’m happy, but the pain… it’s still there. I don’t- I don’t think it’s any lingering feelings for you, just a lot of unanswered questions and ‘what ifs’.” It was true, the first few months after the breakup, you were upset, angry even, at how it ended. Some days you wanted to call her, some days you write down what you want to say in unsent letters, some days you just stare at the ring box and wonder if you should’ve said something earlier. 

“It wouldn’t have saved it,” you mumble, toying with the ring box, “I know that, but I supposed it was easier to do it than to say that we weren’t what we used to be. We weren’t good for each other I guess.”

“We weren’t ready,” Jennie corrects you, “neither of us knew how to communicate with one another. Hell, we could’ve even say ‘I love you’, not that we needed it. I like to think we did love each other, but we weren’t in love with each other.”

There was a pause as you mulled over her words. Were you ever in love with her? Perhaps at some point you were, but just as easily you could fall in love with her, you could also fall out of love with her. Was your affection for her strong enough to be called love? You were also content with knowing that Jennie was more than a friend but did you ever dare to say that she was your lover? Weren’t you content with the bare minimum?

“...what about now? Are you happy now?”

Jennie hesitates before nodding, her hands instinctively going to the ring on her finger, the ring that you’ve been avoiding the entire time. Simple but elegant, not unlike the ring you picked out but so different at the same time. It suits her, you think with a smile and you tell her so.

“He’s good for you.”

Her husband, a man you’ve met through mutual friends. Soft-spoken and lacking the strength and presence Jennie has, he’s not what you pictured to be the one standing by her side yet here he was. The thought doesn’t make you angry or jealous, rather it becomes clear to you what the answers to your questions were this entire time. You know now that no matter how content you were with what you had, it wasn’t enough.

“Do you think that we could’ve worked, Y/N?”

The question that’s been hanging over the both of this entire time, the big what-if of it all. You look away from the velvet box in your hand to your ex and imagine what kind of future you would’ve had with her if you both stayed. Perhaps you would’ve proposed to her and she would’ve said yes with a small smile. Perhaps you would’ve been happy with what little you had, perhaps you would’ve patched things between the two of you, crossing that bridge if time permitted. What would you have felt when you proposed? What kind of thought would run through your head during the wedding? What kind of life would you have if things had worked out?

Downing the last of your wine, you give Jennie a wry smile, “I think we both know the answer to that.”

“You’re right.”

Standing up to put your coat on, you toss some bills on the table and paused, looking at Jennie again. This time, there are no strings tugging at your heart nor are there any feelings of regret or longing for the past. You take comfort in knowing that in some way, whatever happened between the two of you was mended tonight. 

Before you could leave the table, Jennie stops you with a soft grip on your wrist and asks, “Are you happy now?”

The smile you give her is genuine and you tell her the truth, “I am.” With the closure she had been looking for after all these years, she lets you go. Stepping out into the snow, you pull out your phone and pressed a familiar number, hearing it ring twice before the person picks it up.

“Hey… yeah, I met up with her… I told her the truth… of course. I’ll be home soon.”

Your hands reach into your pocket to pull out a velvet box, not the one you showed Jennie. Opening the box to briefly reveal the ring inside before putting it away.

“Yeah… love you too… bye.”

Goodbye indeed.

 

Last Christmas

I gave you my heart

But the very next day you gave it away

This year

To save me from tears

I'll give it to someone special

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Merry Christmas everyone! :)
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