01.

Ivy

Evermore wasn’t an exciting place to live, even after so many years and attempts to modern the place, the town was exactly as Sana remembered from when she was just a little kid riding her pink bike across those long and clean streets. Sana always knew her place wasn’t in that tiny town that seemed to tangle their citizens between the roots of the gigantic trees that hides the area from the dangers of the nearest metropolis, her parents on the other hand loved the relaxed and even dreamy atmosphere that surrounded the old houses and the comfort their farm provided them for so many years.

A lazy smile curved her lips when her brand new car drove in front of her old school, the only school in town actually, she wondered if everything inside was kept as in her memories, if her old teacher was still working or if there was any of her old friends working between those walls, Susan’s cafeteria would have looked the same if she hadn’t painted the front with a lighter tone of yellow and Eric’s grocery shop seemed to be smaller than what she originally remembered. There wasn’t a corner on that town that Sana didn’t know, a smile that wasn’t or at least didn’t look familiar to her and even when familiarity wasn’t especially bad there was something in the Evermore’s air that made her want to turn her car around and go back to her lonely penthouse in New York City, six hours away by car.

Maybe it was the way everybody on town remembered her as well, good or bad memories but Sana was for sure printed inside their minds as much as they were in hers, after the last ten years living in one of the biggest cities in the world she’d grown used to being unknown so going back to meet all those people she never expected to meet again until that morning was a little overwhelming even for her. Sana convinced herself her parents would enjoy her sudden visit especially after not seeing her for almost ten months, keeping the part about how she was starting to grow lonely on a golden cage she built for herself after so many years afar to her own, there was no need to worry her parents with things they could not solve after all.

Ten years after leaving that town Sana had accomplished everything she once planned to do yet since the last December that seemed to be a growing ache inside her, a type of emptiness that threatened to sallow her whole soul and leave no trace of joy behind. She bought a new department, bigger and more expensive, got her hair dyed a few times and even changed her office’s desk trying to find a balance for her feelings outside her own mind yet anything seemed to work, nothing was able to make her feel peaceful or joyful for more than a couple of hours if not less, Sana seemed to be stuck in the middle of a furious storm and going back to her roots was her last desperate swim towards the nearest boat.

-Oh Darling! - Her mother called from the front door with a wide smile that looked just like her daughter’s.

-Hi mom-Sana giggled when she felt arms wrap around her as soon as she was on her mother’s reach. – Where’s dad?

-He’s out for some groceries sweetie; remember we have to go with the Myouis for dinner-The elder remembered with a loving smile as her hands cupped her beloved daughter’s face- I’m happy you’re back home Sana.

Her mother was a joyful character, she was several inches shorter than her and a gentle smile seemed to be always on her lips if not near as soon as she walked into a room. Sana owned her much of her own manners and being able to count with her and her dad was something she was grateful for every single day, a year after leaving the town there was little to no communication between the Minatozaki family so when her mother finally contacted her for Christmas of that same year Sana never let her parents slip between her fingers again. They had differences like any other family, the way they saw life was very distant for each other and despite their daughter’s was completely out of the mold for a little country side neither of the elders had the heart to throw their little and wonderful daughter like a piece of trash.

The house that saw her grow was almost intact as she made her way through the narrow hallway on the upper floor, time didn’t seem to pass over Evermore for Sana, the house was still painted with a creamy tone of white and her room still filled with light from the bright sun over the green grass on their almost infinite backyard, everything seemed to be frozen in time. Her old room was at least the half of her room in the penthouse, the closet was barely enough to fit her clothes in and the walls still had posters from her teenage years over it yet Sana somehow found comfort as soon as she closed the door behind her making the light crack of the old hinge reach her ears ripping a short smile out of her.

Sana ran her fingertips against her desk right under the wide window that pointed towards the tall pines surrounding their house, a wave of fresh air crashed against her as soon as she opened it making her hair fly back, sitting down against the brand new chair of her desk her eyes closed as she allowed herself to hear the silence that floated entirely in their property. Silence was something hard to find in New York and even when Sana had convinced herself she hated it there was a little sense of peace growing inside her as she heard the birds singing from afar and into the woods, she needed it, she needed to feel peaceful again, Sana needed to remember who she was before being that version of her, to know what motivated her when she was much younger and find out if that was enough to motivate her even years after.

The sun was already hiding in the horizon when the Minatozakis found themselves sitting inside Sana’s car, a tray with her mother’s apple pie over her father’s lap in the backseat as their daughter drove them to their weekly meeting with the second Japanese family in town, Sana was a kid when they moved it yet she remembered her parents joy as soon as they heard there were a family just like theirs in that place that seemed forgotten for almost everybody. Not even shielded by her black Mercedes and years of maturity Sana felt easy at the idea of meeting the Myoui’s daughter again, Mina was the only part of the town that Sana wouldn’t change no matter what was offered to her.

Mina and she grow together since they had memory; Sana even remembered how adorable Mina used to look in primary school always holding a little plushy penguin that only shared with her and nobody else, she remembered her laughing as they sneaked in her house after Jade’s summer party… Sana remembered how good it felt to love her. Sana always knew she liked girls, she knew it as soon as their friends started to chat about how good-looking James Martin was during the football practices and she was more interested in Mina’s soccer team, Evermore was a place with only three Asian families, one school, one café and from what Sana knew when she was sixteen there was only one gay couple as well and they weren’t much loved by the community as a whole.

It was a shock, to say the least, when Mina suddenly leaned to capture her lips in the back of her old car, Mina who dated James Martin two months ago, Mina the captain of the soccer team and the first girl Sana kissed when she was sixteen. Myoui Mina was her little secret, her personal bittersweet memory that not even her parents knew about and as they parked in front of the house she knew like her own Sana felt her heart jump in her chest as high as a professional acrobat. Her hands reached the waist of her ironed beige pants as she checked everything about her clothes was as perfect as she wanted it to be, her white silk blouse trapped under the waist of her pants and the first three buttons free allowing the rest to see the elegant golden necklace resting around her neck and landing between her collarbones, nobody ever write books about how to dress if you suddenly meet your first love and Sana could only wish she made the right outfit decision as she followed her parents across the Myoui’s garden.

-Sana sweetie it’s so nice to see you! - Mina’s mother greeted her in the door making her lips curve in an honest smile; suddenly she was trapped in a warm familiar hug. - You grew up so well, you’re so pretty!

-Thank you mom-Sana hummed between the woman’s arm, she and Mina called each other parents like their own after all they’ve looked after both of them since they were five.- You haven’t age a single year.

Walking into the dining room Sana found out the Myouis changed the usual white color of their walls for something much warmer like a faint yellow tone, the house smelled like freshly made lasagna and as soon as she took a seat on their couch beside her father she was offered a glass of juice, Sana would have given almost everything for a bottle of wine that moment. She tried to focus on the ongoing conversation about the changes that had happened in town, the memories about her younger years and how some of her old friends still lived there yet when she heard the soft cracking of heels coming down from the stairs behind her Sana felt her heart stop beating for a second, it had to be her, nobody else on that house could have walked with heels if not Mina.

Sana wondered if she was the only one between the two who felt like she was about to scream in panic as soon as Mina walked into the dining room, a light pink dress over her and for Sana’s surprise her hair was dyed blonde and tied back of a high ponytail allowing her to see her flawless feature as soon as she stood beside their couch. Sana found out that if they years were kind to her then they made wonders in Mina because somehow she was the most beautiful creature the foreign had ever seen, honey eyes looked right into hers after a short greeting with her parents and for a second it felt like not even a single year had passed for any of them. Mina’s smile grew wider as soon as she spotted the pair of chocolate eyes landing on hers, looking at her carefully and almost hiding what she could easy distinguish as an endearing feeling.

-Welcome home Sana- Mina smiled making Sana’s heart jump, how was it that Mina was always so calm?

-It’s been so long-Sana suddenly chuckled out of pure nervousness making Mina follow her laugh and nod softly.-How have you been?

It was Mina’s turn to feel her breathe get stuck in the middle of when Sana stood up without rush from the couch, Sana was always beautiful ever since Mina knew her but that night her memory didn’t make justice to the woman warmly smiling at her in her parent’s living room. Her body was caught in the middle of a gentle hug as Sana’s arms wrapped around her shoulders making her perfume involve Mina like a cloud of the most intoxicating mix of coconut and vanilla coming out of Sana’s soft skin.

-Mina you should set the table, Sehun must be coming already- her father instructed with a calm voice interrupting the cheerful chat he had with Sana’s dad.

-I’ll help you out-Sana hummed with a gentle smile giving a step back.

The Oh’s presence in their Sunday dinners wasn’t something Sana found odd; in fact she was a little curious about their son as well. Growing up in Evermore meant that they were the only three kids from another continent in town and despite at the beginning Sana and Mina didn’t like Sehun years proved them they could be better friends than what they expected, when she left Evermore Sana could have sworn their friends would leave as well to find better and new horizons yet ten years after Mina and Sehun were still unmoved, she guessed things really don’t change in that town.

Growing up with Mina and Sehun had it’s bad moments as well, especially for Sana who always seemed to be caught in any sore of competition with the boy, every couple of months there had to be something they both wanted and the following days they were already enemies… Mina used to be one of those things. Sana remembered all the quiet celebrations she had when the younger Japanese quickly denied his attempts to get closer, all told to her with Mina curled to her side stuck in the warm of her bed.

-You’re going to be hard to ignore around here with that car-Mina teased as she handed the plates to Sana after a minute of silence in the kitchen.

-I had a reputation to keep-Sana hummed making Mina’s smile widen- How everything going in here?

-There’s been a very few changes but mostly it’s still a calm as always-Mina explained as she placed the glasses over the white sheet.- I should be the one asking about you, form the looks only I see you succeeded.

-I’m as boring as when I was younger Mitang- The nickname slipped out of so naturally it was hard to believe Sana didn’t say it in ten years.

Mina wanted to tell her she was never boring, all the contrary in fact, her lower lip was trapped under her front teeth at the nickname coming out of Sana’s mouth like a song she haven’t heard in years. The nostalgia floated between them in the form of a comfortable silence, the voices of their parents coming from the living room as they set the table together, Sana almost laughs when she noticed the carefully looks Mina was giving her from the corner of her eyes practically jumping when she noticed she was caught staring.

Sana thought it was going to be a nice night for her, she honestly expected the dinner to go without any inconvenience and somehow she convinced herself there was nothing capable to break the ease feeling that was settled until the front door was open and Sehun walked in with his best smile and a bottle of wine in his hand, for a brief second Sana was happy to meet him after so long yet her heart stopped before she could even greet him properly.

Mina leaned over her tiptoes to peck his lips with a warm smile; they were so used to each other it was obvious to Sana they’ve probably been together for long. Sehun’s hand finding its place against Mina’s lower back as he greeted their families with a practiced ease, from what Sana could remember her friend disliked plenty things about the man yet many years had gone through between them, years where she was way too far to notice how slowly but surely Mina gave into Sehun’s approaches.

It was childish, useless, and pathetic even for Sana to feel a strike of jealousy growing in her heart at the sight of the couple. Mina deserved to have someone in her life and she knew that but the fact it was Sehun made her stomach twist somehow, that was the moment when Sana saw them, the rings wrapped around their fingers as Sehun turned to meet her with a smile she couldn’t distinguish sincere or not.

-Sana!-The man greeted with enthusiasm as his long and strong arms wrapped around her delicate frame, Sana returned the hug trying to keep her surprise at bay.- Are you going to stay long enough for the weeding?

After those words Sana couldn’t help but think going back to that town was the worst decision she had taken in a long time.

+++

The clock in the wall marked 8:30 A: M when Sana walked into the café with her backpack over her shoulder and her phone in hand, she might be kilometers away from her office but her work still needed to be done and from what she’s heard from her parents earlier that morning Susan’s café was the only place in town with a decent internet connection. Being a Financial adviser wasn’t a trilling as what she originally expected to be when she was much younger but her work for sure paid off enough for her to ignore how boring it was from time to time, she was terrifically good at her job for someone who used to hate numbers, all those years in business school for sure were showing their worth when her payment reached her account every few weeks.

With a cup of steaming cappuccino and a cinnamon roll by her side Sana leaned over her laptop, her round reading glass over the bridge of her nose as soon as she took her seat in one of the small tables beside the window. Sleeping turned out to be a hard task in hand the night before, it’s been a couple of months since the last time she didn’t struggle to fall asleep but the night before needed longer efforts from her than in New York where she usually was so drained because of work or any of the infinite things that seemed to keep her busy during the day that when night came she was gratefully rewarded with a few hours of decent rest. Sana found herself lying in her bed with the night that seemed endless falling over the sky, her eyes glued to the open window where the cold night wind blew directly against her covered legs, Evermore or New York it was all the same… Sana still felt empty.

-Minatozaki Sana? - A deep voice called behind her making Sana frown as turn around in confusion.

Standing behind her with a coffee on his hand was no other than Carson Wells, her first and last boyfriend, a grey shirt was wide enough to let her know he was trying his best to hide the growing belly under it and to match the look a pair of wasted blue jeans. Sana dated him for a few months when she was seventeen and Mina decided to break up with her, it was mostly a revenge that at the end actually gave her Mina back right on time to go to the school’s ball. Years weren’t kind with Carson on the other hand, his hair was starting to turn grey on the sides despite he was only two years older than them and around his eyes deep wrinkles formed when he smiled.

-Carson? - Sana smiled as her eyes looked at the man who nodded eagerly. - How have you been?

Too afraid to sound rude Sana allowed him to take the free stool on the opposite side of her table despite she really wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone, in front of her in the screen of her laptop the email were struggling against the poor internet to show her the top of her task list.

-Everything is fine, how about you? I didn’t know you were back in town-Carson said with a smile before taking a sip of his coffee- Are you here with your husband?- Sana had a bite of her barely touched cinnamon roll not to laugh at that.- Your parents must be really excited to have you back after so long…

Suddenly Sana remembered why she disliked Carson so much when they were younger; he never knew when to be quiet.

-What are you doing now? Did you start your own shop like you planned?- Sana asked out of pure politeness with a soft smile, her head tilting making her light brown hair fall to a side.

-No, I manage my father’s now, you know family business…- Carson explained leaning forward on the table, Sana discovered there were some habits that never die. - You look beautiful Sana.

The Japanese almost jumped in her seat when suddenly a gentle hand landed over her shoulder from behind, she made a mental note to never sit with her back to the door again yet she barely could hold her surprise when she found no other than Mina standing behind her, her hand over her shoulder carefully as she offered her a tight smile.

-Good morning Carson-Mina greeted softly before turning her attention fully to Sana, thankfully Mina knew how to control herself because otherwise she would have to find an excuse to explain why her hands were shaking.- Come on’ silly, did you forget you’re supposed to take breakfast at my place?

-Am I? - Sana mumbled with a frown making Mina lift one of her perfectly shaped eyebrows at her, the older giggled at the gesture- Oh! Of course I am; I’m so sorry Carson!

Sana was surprised when Mina herself took her coffee from the table as she picked her laptop and her backpack from the back of the chair, she felt like laughing loudly as she followed the always calmed woman in front of her, no matter how many time it went by Mina was still the same. Shielded by the brick wall beside the wide café’s window Sana turned to greet Mina with her best smile, maybe the most sincere she’s offered in a long time, the younger had a tight pair of jeans and a white sweater over her, it was so comfortable that it was hard to believe how graceful Mina made it look.

-Morning’ Mitang-Sana greeted with a chuckle as she hanged her backpack over her shoulder once again- Thanks for the rescue.

-No need of, I was actually laughing the first couple of seconds before saving you-Mina admitted shaking her head, her lips curved on a wide smile- Let’s go then…- She hummed before walking to the parking lot beside the café.

-Go? Where to? - Sana frowned as she followed her with wide steps, Mina laughed- Oh wait… Did you mean it? The breakfast thing…

Mina walked around her car until she was standing right in front of the company seat door, her arms folded over the roof as she tilted her head to a side with a playful smile on her lips.

-Wouldn’t you like to eat with me?-Mina wondered softly with a curious gaze.

Sana felt her heart jump at the direct question, there was nothing in the whole wide world that could make her deny something to Mina.

Mina understood she made a mistake as soon as she was sitting in the company seat and Sana started the engine in silence, they were locked inside with a dense silence settled between them, both too scared of their voices failing to start any conversation. The last time they were together on a car just the two of them was only three days before Sana went to collage all the way to New York, it was pouring rain outside almost like the weather was as sad as them for their goodbye, Mina was the first one to broke into tears that night tightly holding Sana’s sweater when she leaned from the driver seat towards her just to hug her in a poor attempt to calm her down, the outsider wondered if Mina still remembered those moments together, the good and the bad they had through all those years right beside each other.

The night before when Sana walked through her parent’s garden Mina could have sworn her eyes filled with tears at the simple sight, nothing was the same after she left; everything seemed harder like Sana was always in charge to make her life flow easily around her. Mina spent many years trying to hate her for leaving, she tried to blame her for the things that happened after and that Sana never heard about, somehow she tricked herself to think that if someday the woman showed up at her door she wouldn’t feel a thing but that damned dinner the night before didn’t do other than proof her wrong. Sana still felt safe, her heart still jumped when her fingers brushed against her soft skin, even after so many years Mina was surprised to know Minatozaki Sana still owned a piece of her.

-You bought Hank’s house? - Sana smiled as she leaned over the steering wheel once they parked in front of the white house.

-It needed a whole hell of fixing-Mina chuckled with a nod as she opened the passenger seat. - Let’s go, I’ll make you waffles.

-Wah, you remember?-Sana pointed with amaze as she walked out of the car with a wide smile, her backpack and her laptop long forgotten In the back seat.

-How could I not when you made me cook them for you so many times? - Mina hummed as she opened the front door of her house.

The inside of the house was just as Sana thought it would be, everything had a place and nothing seemed to be there without a reason despite the neat order it felt warm, a house where you could spent the whole day without going out and she guessed it was Mina’s plans since she never liked crowds. Other thing that Sana couldn’t help but notice Is that there was no trace of Sehun inside, there were no men shoes beside the door, not even a picture of them framed over the elegant coffee table Mina had in front of the couch, it was something odd about it and being as curious as her it was hard to not ask the reason behind it, thankfully her attention was stolen when a light brown ball of fur ran directly into her from the hallway.

-Mina you have a puppy! - Sana said loudly out of pure excitement as she picked the tiny animal from the floor.- Oh my god, it’s so adorable, look at you little guy- she held the animal up to her face with a pout as he left out a few quiet barks.

-He’s name is Latte- Mina introduced with a warm smile as she walked towards the kitchen waiting for Sana to follow her.- I brought it home a month ago, he’s my little partner.

Mina tried to distract herself by turning the coffee machine on and looking for the waffle mix inside her cabinets just to protect her own heart from exploding at the picture of a bright Sana holding her little puppy like a baby between her arms. There were many things she wanted to ask, things she found herself wondering from time to time when the Minatozakis greeted her on the street or when her eyes fell over something Sana used to like, it was hard to believe that after being almost inseparable they were turned into strangers again. Ten years was a lot of time without seeing a person, it was enough to make two careers, get married, it was enough to have kids even, so Mina couldn’t help but wonder, Why was it not enough to forget her? She tried year after year to bury her memory in the deep of her mind, on a locked place where she couldn’t make her heart feel so empty it was hard to believe it was still beating inside her but then she had her sitting in her kitchen counter with her best smile just for Mina to see.

-How can I help you? - Sana wondered as she placed latte back on the floor.

-You’re my guest dummy; I’ll do it for you-Mina hummed as she started the mix with a smile.

-Since when are you so formal with me? - Sana teased as she jumped from the stool clapping her hands to attract Mina’s eyes to her- Give me something to do, come on’, I’ve learned how to cook in all those years.

-You’ve died of hunger if it wasn’t for the cereals and the deliveries the first year-Mina bet making Sana laugh at her, the sound still made her feel as happy as her.- Cut some strawberries or something, Look in the fridge.

The truth was that if Sana didn’t distract herself from the growing thoughts in her mind she would run in danger of looking rude with her questions, she knew she shouldn’t be so interested in Mina’s love-life after so long, a bitter feeling that she was probably the only on wondering between the two of them growing in her chest like a black hole. Sana had dated many women in those years, it was obvious for her than finding a partner wasn’t a hard task to accomplish yet even when people came in and out of her life she never found someone especial enough to settle down, there was nobody who could make her want to stay with them for longer than a couple of months… Mina was engaged, there was a wedding being planned and a whole life after that, Sana blamed it on the way her friend was always several steps in front of her.

The banalities where enough to keep them busy as Mina told her everything she wanted to know about their old friends, the latest rumor running between the people and how boring the place could yet in the afternoons when the heat in summer was so unbearable everybody stayed inside. Sana listened in silence, her laugh filling the kitchen when Mina said something particularly funny about someone else, she might be older but her comments were still more than clever and accurate. Everything about them being together seemed so easy it was almost like a second nature, they fitted each other without pushing too hard into things and despite they were trying to ignore it almost desperately their souls seemed to me made to the other.

-Your house is beautiful- Sana said honestly as she took a sip of her coffee.

In front of them the breakfast was served, Mina was surprised about how carefully Sana chopped the fruit resting on top of their waffles.

-It’s not much but Thank you- Mina said with a shy smile as she lowered her gaze to her food, another poor excuse to avoid the gentle eyes over her. - Yours must be better nevertheless.

-My apartment is big but nothing compares to these houses- Sana hummed being careful with her word choice.

Her penthouse was beautiful, luxurious and many other things yet it wasn’t a home. Sana was starting to feel more like a prisoner inside no matter how much she tried to deny it.

-Did you move with Sehun or does he live here? - Sana found herself asking after a short silence not being able to hold herself anymore, she needed to know.

-We live in his house, I come here from time to time to check on my things-Mina explained suddenly feeling nervous at the topic, her hand picking her mug to give the coffee a sip.- We moved together a year ago but you know, after so many work I put on this place it’s hard to let it go completely.

-It surprised me last night- Sana admitted as she tilted her head to a side, her chin resting lightly against the back of her hand- To know about your engagement I mean, I guessed my mom would have told me something like that…

Sana had the gut feeling her mother probably told her and she didn’t listen, she usually distracted herself every time something about Mina was brought to her from her mom’s calls.

-I never thought you two would end up together, I pictured you more with James or Dylan…- or me, Sana thought but she bit her tongue before it could slip away, that train was long gone for her.

-Sehun is a good man as we grew older you know… things just started to bloom between us-Mina explained with a smile that she prayed for Sana not to notice how fake it was.- He’s always being around so It’s not that much of a change.

Mina couldn’t help but point it seeing how Sana’s lips pressed together at the comment, she knew they were dancing over a dangerous field yet any of them tried to push forward for a minute. Mina didn’t own her anything, any explanation and not even those precious minutes of her time as they ate together in her kitchen, Sana had to remember that as she picked a piece of strawberry from her plate with a smile just as fake as the one in front of her.

-I’m happy for you Mina-Sana said as she carefully looked at the woman in front of her-I’ll make sure to buy good gift for you two.

It was pointless to fight, it would have been stupid from her to keep asking questions about her life more because of how guilty it made her feel than from how Mina could react at the sudden interview. The older Japanese was surprised when a hand landed over hers to squeeze it tenderly for a second suddenly wake up the urge to not letting go of her, Sana wondered how would Mina react if she held her hand over that counter, if her lips kissed her knuckles like many years before, she wondered if she would still laugh if she held her to her chest…

-Tell me about you, How’s New York? - Mina wondered softly in a desperate attempt to change the topic.

-Wonderful if you’re a fan of the traffic and busy people-Sana chuckled as she took a bite of her plate- The good thing it’s that there’s always something to do, even going out for a walk could be interesting…

The minutes ran by them and turned into hours, Sana couldn’t remember the last time she felt so distracted by a person to allow the day to slip through her fingers without realizing, they moved from the kitchen to the couch and Mina’s puppy seemed to support the decision because as soon as they took a seat over the coffins the small dog jumped to her owner’s lap. Sana heard how Mina turned to be an art teacher in their school, who stayed and who left after her, they seemed to be locked in a bubble that neither of them wanted to break; they were a breath of fresh air in each other’s life despite the growing storm of feelings forming in their chest.

Mina wondered what would be the cost of letting Sana in once again, no matter how careful she promised to be with her own feelings having her sitting only inches away from her made her heart want to throw all her caution to the wind. Mina couldn’t point when it happened, the moment where her dreams were forgotten and she decided to settle down on a town that was so small it hardly kept in feet, she gave up to her biggest aspirations and shortly after almost without realizing as well she was engaged with a man she didn’t love living in a house that wasn’t her own. She used to think she was happy, she used to think everything in her life was just as she wanted it to be but it only took a single glance from Sana to notice she was living in a lie, a lie that nobody but her created.

A part of her was desperate to scream at Sana to leave her life again, to let her go back to her comfortable lie before things got out of control and she was thrown to the sea without knowing how to swim, maybe Sana was brave enough to take reckless decisions but Mina was completely the opposite. She tried to convince herself the woman in front of her was dangerous, that she was the reason she felt so untrue to herself during those long years but it was hard to hate someone like Sana, especially when she looks at her with those wide chocolate eyes that seemed to focus only on Mina and her gestures like there was nothing else on that town that could distract her from her.

-Harry is now a detective, he married Marjorie, Do you remember her?- Mina wondered with a smile making Sana laugh at the news, the sound of her phone broke Mina’s peace.- That must be Sehun.

-I’ll go get it for you; you left it in the kitchen-Sana offered kindly as she stood up from the couch, Latte jumping to follow her eagerly.

Looking at her walk towards her kitchen with the tiny dog jumping around her feet Mina felt something hard to describe, a mix between anger and lust as her eyes traced Sana’s slender figure without rush, her light brown hair falling back like waves, as smooth as the silk almost inviting Mina to ran her finger through it. She should despise that woman, she should be yelling at her for breaking her heart like it was nothing but a toy and somehow all she could think about was how would it feel to kiss Sana against her kitchen counter, she wondered if she would giggle or if she would push her away, she wondered if her arms would wrap around her in a sudden rush of heat taking over their rationality…

-It’s your mom-Sana rushed out of the kitchen feeling like the elder was about to hang up, latte still jumping and barking around her feet.

-Careful!-Mina gasped when Sana’s foot almost mashed Latte’s tiny paw.

Sana’s breath got stuck in the middle of when she looked down to avoid hurting the puppy, the simple action unleashing a domino reaction that somehow made her miss her balance and land over Mina in the couch, the phone falling to the floor in the process. The younger guessed she should be more careful with her wishes because in the blink of an eyes she found herself trapped under Sana’s comfortable weight, she almost starts crying when she noticed how close her lips were to hers, Sana seemed as astonished as her, waiting in silence for the other to react.

She sworn she could have died that instead, her heart seemed to forget how to beat properly as soon as Mina’s breath crashed against her lips, Sana was glad her eyes didn’t close in anticipation just to witness the faint blush slowly crawling into Mina’s cheeks. Their eyes met for no longer than a second, it was so brief that if it wasn’t Sana she could have gotten out of the situation without problem yet the older knew better, all she needed was a single glaze for her heart to start beating again furiously; Mina wanted her.

-Mina…-Sana whispered softly almost against her lips.

The phone rang again in the floor making both of them jump in their places, Sana practically flying to her feet as she looked at the blushed woman picking the phone before standing up and turn around to hide her face from the curious eyes.

-Hi mom, No I’m not busy-Mina answered clearing , her weight changing from one feet to another in a gesture Sana remembered as nervousness.- Sure, I… It’s no problem.

Sana saw her rush towards the door to pick her shoes telling her without words their time was over; she moved to pick her shoes beside Mina in silence as well almost like her sound on the call could be enough to reveal what was running inside their minds. Latte barked happily to fill the tense silence that floated between them as Mina opened the front door before picking the little animal from the floor; she walked into that house feeling like a stranger and left it two hours after feeling like a criminal, a secret Mina was once again trying desperately to hide from everyone.

The front door was closed behind her as soon as Sana stood out, Mina still holding her phone against her ear and Latte in her free arm.

-I’ll walk from here Sana- Mina explained softly with a tense smile, making the woman nod softly. - Have a nice day.

They were old friends, their past as lovers was deep buried in them and as Mina walked away without daring to look back she tried to remember that, she didn’t turn around when Sana called her, she didn’t tried to stop her from getting in her car despite she wanted her to walk with her.

What Mina didn’t realize was that they forgot Sana’s jacket in the back of the door.

A trace of her in a place that was only Mina’s, a place where not even her fiancé was allowed to keep his belongings Sana’s were accepted in without thinking about it twice.

That was the first seed planted for the infinite wood they were about to build together.

+++

For the first time in three days Sana had the courage to walk into the local pub, beside her Harry Williams guided her in with his best smile; they used to be friends since kindergarten like most of the people in Evermore and Sana found out earlier that day they still had a lot of things in common despite the clear differences on their life style, it was always nice to remember good times, times where she was happy Sana guessed. After the brief moment at Mina’s place the younger Japanese seemed to have run away of town because Sana hasn’t spotted her around not even once in those days, she wanted to believe it was because Mina was way too busy with other things, that maybe she and her mother were out to buy things for the weeding or anything that could hold her from thinking Mina was purposely ignoring her yet that was the only conclusion Sana could reach each time.

O’Malley’s had a changed from what she could remember, there were new pool tables on the back and a few brand few neon lights over the wooden booths around the room. Sana used to get wasted in those very stools with the same man that handed her a beer that night, Mina used to nag at her for hours after yet she never really refused to make space in her bed with she called her in the middle of the night.

-For the good times Minatozaki- Harry smiled as they cheered clicking their bottles of beer together.

-And because we’re still attractive- Sana joked making the man laugh at her.

-You saw Carson Wells, didn’t you? - Harry knew it inmediately making Sana nod and laugh with him.

Harry grew up to be an athletic man, much different from the tall and slender boy Sana left behind years ago, he turned into one of the very few police officers in Evermore, a job that himself admitted to be terrifically boring yet the pay wasn’t honestly that bad just to drive around the town and help people out here and there. He and Sana used to be partner in crime, he masterly covered her each and every single time Sana sneaked out to meet a girl and never once showed any trouble to lie for her saying they were a couple for their parents despite everybody in the school knew it was nothing but a lie. The truth was that she was happy to see him again when they crossed paths on the grocery shop that morning, he was still wearing his navy blue uniform and his face seemed to light up as soon as Sana greeted him with honest excitement.

It was her fifth day in Evermore and despite what Sana originally thought she couldn’t help but notice her childhood’s friends seemed to be more content with their life than her, neither of them needed a Mercedes or running shoes that were expensive enough to cover two or three months of rent to feel like they accomplished something and Sana had to admit she envied them a little because of that. They were already on their second round of beers when Sana’s attention was stolen from Harry’s story to focus on Sehun walking into the place, Mina by his side and a couple of men that behind them that she couldn’t distinguish for a moment, her friend seemed to notice she was distracted because Harry suddenly stopped talking to turn around and see what was so interesting behind him, Sana almost laughs when she noticed the mocking look he was throwing at her.

-Don’t tell me you like him too now-Sana mumbled placing her bottle in the table; Harry chuckled as he shook his head.

-He’s an idiot- Harry stated making Sana smile brightly at him, a true friend was always a good one not matter how many years went by. - Did you know about them? I mean before you came here…

-I didn’t talk to Mina until I got here- Sana admitted a little ashamed of her own actions, Harry nodded in understanding.- I’m happy for them, really, I mean I would have been happier if she was engaged with someone like you…

-You careful with what you wish, you could never steal my wife but Sehun’s…-Harry teased making Sana laugh loudly, her eyes closing and her head falling back at the statement.

Sana knew it was true, if she had walked into that town to find Mina between Harry’s arm she couldn’t be thinking about how breathtaking the blonde looked as she sat on the opposite side of the room, she wouldn’t even consider kissing her like she did on her house, if Mina had been engaged with someone Sana considered worth it then she would have respected her relationship more. For a minute she considered standing up and join their group yet the bitter feeling of not being welcomed by Mina was holding her back stronger than any chain, she knew her heart would break at the tiniest trace of discomfort the blonde showed towards her so Sana surprised herself being a coward as she asked harry about his little kids, Tessa and Kyle, she thought it was amazing that he had twins.

A bottle of whisky landed on their table after their third beer and Harry was amazed to know that Sana didn’t change her drinking habits from when she was younger, she drank alcohol better than many men on that same bar and somehow the only trace of the drinks in her body were how flushed her face would get after the first two whiskies. Sana was trying her best to forget about Mina’s presence just steps away from her, she knew she could simply stand up and greet them like in the old times, maybe her hand would land casually over her shoulder or maybe over her silky hair, even if it was just for a second or two, just for Sana to confirm she wasn’t a product of her imagination; she guessed she wasn’t the only one having trouble with the cold front that Mina was applying her when she turned for a minute just to find her gentle eyes over her.

God knows Mina had tried her best to ignore the fact she was back in town, living only twenty minutes away from her house by car and forty minutes by walk on a path she knew like it was her home. Nobody noticed how busy she was trying to keep herself, she organized her whole house in two days, she’s been taking latte for longer walks and even Sehun seemed happy at the sudden loving his girlfriend was showing him… of course he didn’t need to know those were out of pure guilt for wanting to rip Sana’s clothes days ago. Mina’s breath got stuck in when Sana’s eyes caught her staring directly at her, a smile curved her lips so slowly she felt it was nothing but a mock, Mina wanted to believe she had everything under control yet when Sana held her hair up on a lose ponytail a wave of electricity ran through her body like she was being hit by a lighting.

-Look at that! New York’s here! - Sehun pointed with a laugh as his arm fell over Mina’s shoulder clumsily; he already had too many beers to notice how tense his girlfriend was.

-Is she single?- One of the Jenkins twins asked, Mina hated them but they were still Sehun’s best friends- She looks like a fun night.

-Look at those lips, I bet she’s good at…-Jeff started and Mina couldn’t help but feel a rush of anger inside her, they were disgusting.

-Watch your words, you’re being disrespectful- Mina groaned making Sehun turn to look at her in amaze, Mina didn’t speak up, like ever.

-Own look at that, Mina is protecting her little friend-Sehun chuckled cupping Mina’s face with his big hand, the woman almost chokes when he leaned to peck her lips, he tasted like cheap rum- Go say Hi to her darling, maybe she’ll pay the drinks tonight.

It was not a secret for anybody that knew them that Sehun and Sana were never in the best terms; Mina knew it better than anyone since she seemed to be always in the middle of their stupid competitions, one would have thought that ten years was enough to forget a rival yet she was proved wrong when after their first encounter with Sana on that Sunday dinner all Sehun could talk on their way back home was how annoying he found Sana, how he thought she wanted to proof something that wasn’t true with her looks and that she just wanted to mock everybody in Evermore with that stupidly expensive car she had parked in front of her Parents house, Sehun was awfully jealous at Sana and Mina knew he should.

A part of her knew she shouldn’t have walked towards her yet her body seemed to have a live by its own when she started her walk towards their table, suddenly the idea of staying a single second more with Sehun and his friends seemed more unbearable than Sana looking directly at her like she was expecting something Mina didn’t know about. Sana was laughing at Harry when she spotted her only steps away from her table, her eyes quickly catching the hesitation on each of her moves making her lips curve into a calming smile on a poor attempt to make Mina know she was more than welcome to join their table for the rest of the night, especially since Sehun wasn’t behind her.

-Mitang! - Sana greeted with a bright smile as she moved to a side of the booth to leave the seat beside her empty- Come sit with us for a minute.

-Hey Mina- Harry turned to look at her with a smile as well- Can we offer you a drink maybe?

-Hey, I just came to greet you guys, I’m with Sehun and the Jenkins…-Mina started softly making Sana furrow her eyebrows as she looked behind Mina at the men that were clearly distracted by whatever stupidity they were talking about.- I should go back now, I don’t want to bother.

-Don’t be silly Mina, You’re welcome here- Sana hummed as she patted the empty space beside her- Sit down for a minute, we don’t bite… Well I don’t, Maybe Harry…

Taking that seat was the second mistake for Mina, with only inches separating her from Sana there was no way she could ignore her. Harry wanted to laugh at how tense the younger Japanese looked, maybe nobody else knew on that town about them but Sana was more than clear when they were younger that Mina was her girlfriend to him, there wasn’t really something Sana kept from him and that was mutual.

-Do you want a drink, something to eat maybe? - Sana wondered softly as she focused on Mina.

O’Malley’s wasn’t exactly the place where Sana thought she should be inventing Mina for dinner but she had to work with what she had in hand, under her calmed exterior Sana felt her heart jump at how close the other woman was next to her, she could simply move her hand from the table and held hers if she wanted to yet she had to fight the sudden urge of touching her knowing that it wasn’t probably the most proper thing to do. There was something about Sana that nobody could deny; She was charming to an almost ridiculous point, she could have almost any women that crossed paths with her in the palm of her hand if she wanted and the part Mina hated the most out of it was that Sana wasn’t even aware of the power she had, how every move seemed to be made to attract all the eyes to her, the tone of her voice, and her smile that seemed to hide all the secrets people’s been looking for during their lives… Sana under Mina’s eyes embodied perfection, something that was only hers to enjoy until she let it slip through her fingers like the tiniest dot of dusk.

-Do you remember when Sweaty McKinley invited you to prom? - Sana laughed loudly as she heard Mina’s chuckle at the memory. - Oh my god, you broke that poor boy’s heart Mina.

-Ha! I didn’t break as much hearts as you did- Mina pointed taking a shy sip from Sana’s drink- Do you remember Travis?

-Travis Green! –Harry laughed at the memory, that poor boy really never gave up with Sana until the very end- Sana had to kiss Jade from the Cheerleaders to stop him.

-First of all I kissed Jade because she was hot, not because of Travis-Sana defended herself with a mumbled, refilling her drink and Harry’s at the process.

They heard Mina’s laugh die a little as she looked at the counter behind Harry making her friends turn to follow her gaze, Sehun’s dark eyes were focused on her as she stood up from the stool with the Jenkins behind him, for a quick second Sana would have sworn she was scared of him. Sehun was a big man, he was much taller that his friends and his arms had enough muscle to be noticed at plain sight, if he ever dared to hurt her Mina knew it wouldn’t be a tiny damage and despite that during their relationship as a couple he never lifted his hand towards her there was always an odd type of fear floating in the back of Mina’s head at the possibility.

-Sana, good to see you’re having a good time- Sehun said with a smile that made the hairs of Mina’s neck stand.

-Do you want to join us? - Sana wondered with a smile as faked as the man’s, Mina almost jumps when she felt an impossibly soft hand land tenderly over her knee.

Idiot, Sana thought as her hand tenderly squeeze Mina’s tight under her fingertips, how was it that such beauty ended up with a jerk like Sehun? For her surprise the woman didn’t push her hand away.

-Of course, after all we’re all friends, aren’t we?- Sehun chuckled as he sat down next to Mina, his arm falling over her shoulders making Sana want to pull the woman closer to her. – What are you guys drinking?

-Whisky- Harry pointed at the bottle resting in front of him on the table as he moved to make room for the other two men with Sehun to sit beside him on the opposite side of the booth.

-Where’s your beer angel? - Sehun wondered looking at Mina with a frown as he leaned to kiss her cheek. - I thought your friends invited others, maybe they don’t teach manners in New York.

-Is your business going that wrong Sehun? I guess it must since I should be the one buying your girlfriend drinks instead of you- Sana spat suddenly irritated feeling how Mina’s hand squeezed hers under the table to hold her back, the last thing she needed that night was to end up in the middle of a fight between those two.

Sana bit her tongue down not to continue, even his commentaries were too stupid to argue with him, if Mina had wanted something, absolutely anything from that place she would have it in the blink of an eye if it came to Sana but of course Sehun didn’t need to know that, she didn’t have to proof herself to absolutely anybody… especially not to him and his idiotic friends. If Mina thought she was in trouble before that moment she guessed that was how hell must feel like when she found herself trapped between a nearly drunk Sehun on her left and an clearly pissed Sana on her right, she was glad Harry was such a skilled distractor since the other three men on the table easily bit the bait in form of a wave robbery that happened two days behind in the town next to theirs.

-Mina- Sana whispered beside her after a minute, her hand finding hers under the table tenderly, the younger turned around softly- Do you really want to drink something else? - she frowned softly at Mina wanted to scream at how adorable she looked doing that, she shook her head side to side with a fun smile.- Do you want to share mine?

-That’s okay for me- Mina assured intertwining the fingers over her tight.

-Hey New York- Sehun called making Sana groan softly before her eyes moved from Mina’s to look up to meet the men behind her- I bet you can’t win me in pool.

-I’m not in the mood to play Sehun, but Harry is one hell of a player- Sana pointed giving a generous sip to her drink before softly handing the glass to Mina; it only took a glace from Harry, just a second before he understood. - I bet you can’t win over him.

A mocking laugh almost slip through Sana’s pink lips when the man took the challenge without realizing the double intention behind her words, Harry on the other hand did laugh as he winked an eyes at his friend before following the other men towards the further pool table the place could offer. One thing Sana learned during her collage years was that men usually didn’t think their girlfriends were capable to cheat on them with other girl, even if said girl looked like her, behavior that only lead them to leave their girlfriends behind and right where she wanted them, Sehun was not the exception, for her surprise Mina was looking back at her with a fun gaze when she focused her attention over her eyes again.

-I know what you’re doing-Mina stated with a smile as she took a sip from the glass, for Sana’s surprise she didn’t move away from her side even an inch despite that without Sehun’s body on the other side of the bench there was plenty of space to do so.

-Is that so? - Sana hummed her hand lifting to push a blonde lock behind Mina’s ear tenderly; she saw how her cheeks started to blush at the sudden undivided attention. - You don’t love him.

-That’s quite a statement coming for someone who didn’t see us for ten years- Mina assured making Sana chuckle, she could pretend be as mad as she wanted to cover the fact but she knew deep down she couldn’t trick Sana.- Don’t bother him too much, you know he’s got some nerves…

-He’s a jerk, as simple as that- Sana stated without shame, Mina turned to look at her with a severe gaze, the foreign lifted the glass between them and finished the drink with one long sip that burn down .

-You don’t have the right to talk about him that way Sana, Many things have changed since…- Mina started with a frown, the woman simply lifted her shoulder without caring much.

-Not everything changed princess- Sana said in a whisper, her voice so low and raspy that Mina felt dry at the sound, Sana’s eyes landed over her suddenly looking darker, dangerous.- If you actually loved him at least the half that you want everyone to believe you wouldn’t have stayed here with me…- Her hand moved to rest over Mina’s tight again this time much higher making the younger bit her tongue when her perfectly manicured nails dig in her skin, Sana leaned closer.- But you stayed… Doesn’t that mean you’re more interesting on getting your way with me than in your own fiancé? Isn’t that what you want Mina?

Sana might look like an angel most of the time but then sitting right in front of her Mina was convinced she was facing no other than the devil herself, the fact a human was capable to represent such level of temptation was beyond her understanding. Sana’s eyes looked directly into her with a different kind of spark glimmering behind her orbs, the type of look that could made absolutely anyone lose their minds over her, Mina couldn’t stop her eyes when they fell over her lips, looked so soft under the thin layer of red lipstick practically shinning because of the thin drops of whisky still resting over them, Sana was intoxicating.

-You’re drunk Sana- Mina forced herself to say as she pushed the woman by the shoulder to create some distance between them- You don’t know what you’re talking about.

-Meet me tomorrow- Sana suddenly suggested making Mina laugh, she had to be insane- I’ll wait for you by the river, remember? Where we used to meet in High School

-We’re not ing fifteen anymore Sana, get over it- Mina turned around to see the immediate change on Sana’s face, she hit a nerve.

-Okay then- Sana cleared as she stood up with her lips pressed together in discomfort, her hand reached the back pocket of her tight jeans and pulled a bill out- Tell Harry that’ll cover the bottle, Have a good night Mina.

That was by far the most exciting thing Sana did in probably two months and despite her attempts were quickly blocked she didn’t feel particularly bad about it… most probably because of the three beers and the generous amount of whisky she had that night, her steps moved slowly almost like her body was too heavy to walk as she made her way out of the pub. The night breeze blew against her making a shiver run down her spine and her eyebrows furrow at the cold, she should have brought a coat when Harry picked her up earlier that afternoon yet she didn’t really expect to spend so many time out of the house to begin with. Probably the next morning she’ll regret her actions with Mina, maybe she should buy her flowers and place them over her front door, Sana wondered if Sehun ever bought flowers for her too, maybe that gift could send the wrong message and it was better to send something more impersonal, her fingers fiddled the edge of her shirt as she thought.

Mina didn’t know what took over her when she practically ran out O’Malley’s a moment after Sana, ever since she saw her again Mina suddenly couldn’t explain many things about herself. Sana wasn’t lying when she said she didn’t love Sehun, she wasn’t lying when she said she wanted her yet for a minute the fact that the other woman could read her so easily sounded so wrong to her, Didn’t she really change at all in that time? Maybe the connection they had with each other was much stronger than what they believed.

-Sana wait! – Mina called as she jogged behind the taller making her turn around, the amaze clear in her expression as she looked back at Mina.

Thankfully there wasn’t much traffic passing by on the street beside them and the very few people coming in and out of the pub behind them were too distracted by their own lives to notice them standing on in front of the other under the street lights. Mina knew the second her eyes found Sana’s gentle gaze that her biggest mistake would be letting her slip between her fingers again, just like the first time, she couldn’t allow her to leave that town without having a honest conversation with her no matter how much it always scared Mina, that night she decided it was time to face her demons.

-I’ll see you tomorrow- Mina started, Sana’s face seemed to light up at the news- 5:30, is it okay for you?

-Yeah of course- Sana nodded eagerly making Mina’s chest grow warm at the happiness.

-Be careful on your way home then-Mina hummed before turning around without saying anything else.

Sana’s eyes followed her until Mina disappeared behind the pub’s door; a giggle escaped her lips as she turned around to walk home.

For the first time in the last five months, Sana was excited to meet the following day.

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