Soojin remembers the first time she had met Shuhua. It was during a singing lesson, and she had tried greeting the Taiwanese girl, wanting to make a new friend. Of course, with the language barrier, it wasn’t easy, but Soojin was intrigued. Shuhua was quiet, and she figured it was because she had no one to speak with. No one else tried to, besides Soojin.
Maybe that’s why Shuhua had gotten so attached to Soojin so quickly. Besides the fact that she was an absolute beauty from a first impression, her heart was beautiful too. It was not hard to fall in love with someone who was beautiful inside and out.
It was not hard to fall in love with Seo Soojin.
It was not hard to fall in love with Yeh Shuhua either, but coming to terms with it within herself, that’s what was hard for Soojin. Maybe she worried too much about what other people thought about who she chose to love, but how can she not when that’s what her life had always been like. Her family has always been supportive of her in anything that she has done, but she was raised in a household that believed in the traditional.
Soojin has never given her parents a reason to think of her as non-traditional, but that’s because there was no one who made Soojin question herself like Yeh Shuhua has. No one has ever made Soojin feel so afraid of the emotions that she has felt, but in the best of ways.
“If only I was as brave as you.” Soojin whispered, brushing her thumb over the beauty mark on the bridge of Shuhua’s cheekbone. She found herself sneaking into the younger girl’s room after two hours of trying to force herself to fall asleep.
“How do you look this pretty while sleeping?” Soojin blinked, slightly smiling at the way Shuhua looked so peaceful in her state of slumber.
“Sometimes, I wonder if it would be easier for the both of us if you just hated me.” Soojin sighed, retracting her arm to pull her knees to her chest, and rest her chin atop the edge of the bed. She kept her gaze on Shuhua’s serene expression against the shimmers of the moon.
“It would ruin me, but if that’s what stops you from hurting…. I wish you hated me instead.” Soojin genuinely believed it. That the world would spin better if Shuhua chose to love someone that was not her. Someone who was better. Someone who could proudly love her without any pain.
But who was Seo Soojin to decide how the world should spin if she was so afraid to take charge of her own?
They hadn’t talked the morning after. Shuhua had not taken the initiative to approach the older girl about it because she figured it was just time Soojin needed. It still hurt to assume how unsure Soojin was about her feelings for her. Shuhua knows Soojin’s feelings were the same, but the denial for it was what hurt her the most.
“I’m not going to ask about it, but I just want to know if you’re okay.” Soyeon didn’t want to tiptoe around it, but she also did not want to get involved in something that she didn’t need to get involved in. She respected their lives and privacy, but as a leader, it was her duty to know the wellbeing of her members, but also as a friend.
“What am I supposed to say?” Shuhua could break down at any moment, but she knows she won’t.
“The truth. There’s no reason for you to hide what you feel from me, okay?” Soyeon assured the younger girl with a listening ear whenever she needed it.
“I don’t really know what I’m supposed to
feel right now.” Shuhua replied honestly, shrugging her shoulders with no strength at all.
“Do you… want me to talk to her?” Soyeon asked, caution in her voice. She knew Shuhua was going to refuse, always saying that it was a matter between Soojin and her. And Soyeon agreed, but it wouldn’t hurt if she gave friendly advice to both of them as an outsider.
“No, it’s…. I want her to act upon it herself. I want her to know what she wants and decide whether she wants to do something about it.” Shuhua replied, a distant look in her eyes. Soyeon could only nod, feeling sorry for the younger girl.
“And if she doesn’t take initiative?” Soyeon let the question hang in the air.
Shuhua blinked, chest constricting at the possible thought that that may happen. She strongly believed that Soojin would never just pretend like what they had was nothing. Maybe she just needed a little more time to understand it, but never ignored it.
“I— she will. S-She cares about me.” Shuhua said, but her voice sounded tinier than ever.
“I know, Shu.” Soyeon offered a comforting smile, and a tap on the shoulder.
The members started to slowly enter the practice room, noise filling the sullen atmosphere inside the room.
“Shu!” Yuqi ran towards her with her hand raised in the air, asking for a random high five. Shuhua knew it was a random gesture to get her distracted and in a better mood, and so she jumped up from her seat and slapped it as hard as she could with a smile on her face.
“Ow—, light tap! Light tap! Do I need to teach you how to do a proper high five?” Yuqi complained, holding onto her palm that stung with pins and needles. Shuhua laughed, sticking her tongue out in a childish manner. “You asked for it.”
“Where’s Soojin? Practice starts in five minutes.” Soyeon yelled from her spot by the speaker, scrolling mindlessly through her phone that was plugged into the wall. She didn’t bother to specifically look at anyone for an answer, waiting for any response.
“I saw her talking with Hui in the hall. Something about feelings and apologies and such. Maybe something to do with the song they’re recording.” Yuqi blabbered, lying down on the floor and staring at the white ceiling with a bored expression.
The room grew quiet, and eyes cautiously watched Shuhua who froze in her spot, looking at Yuqi as if she heard wrong. “Song Yuqi! This idiot can't read the room.” Minnie threw a cracker at her. Yuqi jumped from her spot on the floor and looked around the room, only to be given looks of annoyance.
“What? What’d I do?” Yuqi turned to return each angry glare of the older members with a lost look. It was only when she met Shuhua’s soft eyes filled with pain that she finally understood why.
“Shuhua, don’t worry. I think they were just discussing the meaning of the song? Right? Like… uh.. uhm… a love story that ends very tragically, and… uh… they fix it by apologizing and voila! Love blooms again!” Yuqi stammered with her words, trying to fix her mistake.
Another cracker was thrown at her, “that doe