- 15 - The View From Outside

The Transfer

Heejin likes to believe in the fact that everything happens for a reason. That in the end, everything that happens happens because it's supposed to no matter how exhilarating or devastating the aftermath may be. And as she feels Hyunjin's grip vanish and watches the two former best friends interact with each other, she finds it hard to figure out what the purpose of this moment is. She sits still in utter silence as she isn't really sure how to feel at what she sees, whether she should be sad, jealous, angry or anything else related to emotions.

"Hi," Lia breathes out, her hands fumbling with the loops on her jeans. "I was passing by the café and I thought I saw you in the window... and I guess I was right. I mean, I should've known since you've always loved sitting by the window. I even remember that you'd never give up a window seat to me," Lia wears a small smile at the memory.

Hyunjin always let me have the window seat..., Heejin recalls when they were on the trains.

"Yeah," Hyunjin awkwardly laughs, still just as surprised to see Lia as Lia was with seeing her. "Um, how have you-uh. How have you been lately?"

"I'm doing alright, you?"

"I've been good. Great, actually," Hyunjin turns back to look and gesture at Heejin. "This is Heejin. She's my uh...," Hyunjin hesitates.

For a second, Hyunjin's hesitation was alarming and under any normal circumstances, Heejin should definitely be concerned, but those feelings went away as soon as she had locked eyes with her girlfriend. There was one reason and one reason only as to why Hyunjin would ever pause on calling Heejin hers and Heejin knew exactly what it was.

She remembers that the Slytherin never got the chance to tell Lia that she liked girls, let alone her childhood best friend for that matter. Making Lia aware of Hyunjin's uality wasn't as simple as it had been with Hyunjin asking Heejin out on a date in front of everyone at Hogwarts or how Heejin introduced Hyunjin as her girlfriend to her family. The difference was that Hyunjin knew that she was in an environment to which she knew she would be accepted. Essentially, she hadn't felt any pressure when making people aware of her uality because she had nothing to lose. 

But it's a whole other ball game when it comes to telling people in which their reaction was crucial for Hyunjin. 

So, she quickly realizes that it's not her place to finish Hyunjin's sentence and instead let the taller girl do it her way. And although the couple lock eyes for a brief moment, Heejin can recognize Hyunjin's nervousness. Despite having not seen her childhood friend for years, Hyunjin did not lie when she told her that Lia still had a place in her heart.

During their train delay, Hyunjin had told Heejin that before and even after her friendship with Lia ended, the question of whether or not the other girl would've been supportive of her has always been something that she would think about ever since she had first come out to Haseul. Hyunjin would like to think that everything would've turned out the way she'd hoped because the two were best friends after all and they had loved each other (albeit to varying extents). But yet again, she thought that her parents would be the same, so Hyunjin could never really predict how Lia would've responded.

One thing Hyunjin did know for sure, though, was that if she had come out back then and Lia wasn't supportive, she would've been truly heartbroken. As for now, however, Heejin wasn't sure of just how big of an impact Lia's opinion would still have because she (and Hyunjin) never thought that this day would come. So, Lia had a piece of Hyunjin's heart, but the question was how big? 

Now, just in case Lia's reaction to her uality was still very important to Hyunjin, Heejin decided that she was going to be fine with whatever Hyunjin had decided to call her. Whether she's called a friend or girlfriend, Heejin would understand Hyunjin's decision and they would deal with it afterwards. 

Then, Hyunjin wears a warm smile as she faces Lia, "She's my girlfriend."

(Heejin would be lying to say she wasn't ecstatic after hearing that.)

"Your girlfriend?" Lia asks, her tone unreadable. "As in...?"

"As in we are dating," Hyunjin says as she turns back for a brief moment to reach out and hold Heejin's hand again, giving it a light squeeze which Heejin returns immediately. It suddenly became hard for Heejin to hide a huge smile in reaction to Hyunjin's words.

"Oh," Lia responds blankly. The atmosphere suddenly felt awkward, causing the boy next to the standing girl clear his throat.

"I'm Chris, Lia's boyfriend," he reaches out to shake both her and Hyunjin's hand. Then, he looks to Heejin. "Um Heejin, right? Do you mind coming up and ordering some food with me, I'll get us all something to eat, on me. I would go by myself, but I'm not really sure what you guys would like," he laughs awkwardly.

"Oh no, that's too kind," Heejin tries to decline politely. (It wasn't because he was Lia's boyfriend necessarily, but rather because he was still a complete stranger giving a generous offer and it would feel odd to accept it.)

"Please? I insist," he continues. Heejin shares one look with Hyunjin, hoping to read what the Slytherin thinks she should do, but she couldn't read a thing seeing that Hyunjin's brain must already be in such a mess. So, Heejin had two thought processes going on. In her head, she feels that she should stay, but at the same time, something in her gut was telling her that she should go with the boy.

"Okay," Heejin finally concedes. She stands up and pecks Hyunjin on the cheek before leaving with Chris. "Cream bread, right?"

“You know it, baby,” Hyunjin nods enthusiastically, nearly making Heejin forget the weird situation that they were in. But Lia's stares quickly brought her back to reality.

So, the newly met duo leaves the table and once in line, Heejin notices just how long the line actually was, making her a bit nervous. She knows she shouldn't be and it was her choice to go, but she was already starting to wish she was back with her girlfriend, wanting to look over her. Then, she hears Chris speak up again with sincerity in his voice, "Thanks for coming. Sorry for kinda putting you on the spot there, but she needed this."

"Pardon?" she asks confused. 

"Sorry, it's just..," he pauses. "Has Hyunjin told you about Lia and their friendship before?"

She's told me quite a bit, actually. 

"Yeah," Heejin says instead. "I... I know they were very close, but eventually had a falling out."

"Ah yes," he agrees, appearing relieved that Heejin knew about the extent of their relationship. "So, to explain, I wanted to give them some time alone so Lia could get some closure. I'm sure you're already aware, but the way their friendship ended... It was abrupt and unexpected."

Heejin nods as she recalls how the two former friends had stopped talking after one hasty phone call. 

"And it hit Lia hard and I was there to witness it all. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Hyunjin since Lia says it was both of their faults. She had so many questions swirling in head with 'what happened's' and 'what if's'. And although I'm not sure if it was the same for Hyunjin, I think after months of Lia dwelling on it, this might be a chance for possibly both of them, not just Lia, to get clarity."

And there it was, Heejin concludes, that this moment had to happen to help Hyunjin heal.

"You're right," she agrees as she glances back to see Lia now sitting across from Hyunjin, both still engaged in conversation. Before she knew it, she and Chris were at the register. After ordering their food, they step to the side to wait for their order number to be called.

"I've got an idea," Chris starts. "How about we leave them be?"

"Like, leave leave? As in, we head home?" Heejin’s eyebrows knit together.

"Yeah, actually," he sighs. "I just feel like the amount of time we’ve given them wouldn't be enough if we were to already head back, right? I think the more alone time they have, they'll eventually have to break past the simple conversation to the hard stuff."

Heejin knew he had a point yet again, but at the same time, she wanted to make sure that Hyunjin was ready to even have that conversation. She wanted to double check with the girl before making any decision, so that's exactly what she tells the boy. So, as they had back with the food in their hands and place it on the table, Chris pulls Lia off to the side while Heejin sits back across from Hyunjin.

"Everything okay since I've been gone?" Heejin decides to ask first.

"Surprisingly, yes," Hyunjin exhales as she grabs the cream bread with excitement. "I didn't think our conversation could still flow so easily like it had in the past. It's like we hadn't missed a beat," and a tiny smile appears on the taller girl's face.

It pangs Heejin's heart to hear that, but she tries not to dwell on it. 

"How about Chris? Was he good to you?" Hyunjin asks back.

"Such a protector you are," Heejin laughs. "But, yeah, he's nice. He-uh, he actually came up with an idea, but I want to run it by you first before we do anything and I'm sure he's telling Lia the same."

"Oh no, don't tell me you're leaving me for him," Hyunjin says sarcastically, acting offended.

"Oh shut it," Heejin cracks a smile before getting a bit serious again. "And I mean.. kind of? But! Hear me out first... He and I think that now would be a good time to get whatever you and her need to get off your chests. Maybe give each other a chance to explain why your friendship ended? For closure.. since you guys haven't talked since that call."

When she’s met with silence and raised eyebrows, Heejin is quick to keep going, “Only if you think you’re ready, of course. I mean, it was just an idea-it wasn’t even mine, it was Chris’-and I’m completely fine with whatever you decide. I just think this is a chance for you to get the closure you might need. Oh gosh it’s too soon, isn’t it? You probably still need time, I’m sorry for springing this on you-oh!”

Heejin’s ramble cuts short as Hyunjin pecks her lips and pulls her into a hug. “Thank you for caring, Heej,” Hyunjin mumbles against her. “Honestly, I don’t think I would have ever been ready, so I might as well do it now, right?”

“Are you sure?” Heejin asks one last time as they pull apart to look at each other.

“I’m sure,” Hyunjin affirms and the two look towards the other couple to see if Lia had agreed as well. Soon after, the boy and girl approach them.

“I guess this is our cue to leave, Heejin,” Chris says, confirming that Lia decided to stay and talk.

Heejin nods and turns to Hyunjin, “I’ll see you later then?”

Hyunjin nods, “I’ll be okay.”

They all say their farewells and Hyunjin gives Chris her address in order to take Heejin home. Once out of the café, Heejin gives one last look at the window to Hyunjin and Lia were already talking. From afar, one would never have thought that two of them had a falling out.

-----

When Heejin arrives back at the house with her own cream bread in hand, she sees Haseul sitting in the living room watching a movie.

“Hey kiddos,” Haseul starts without moving her eyes away from the screen. “How was your date-,” she stops when she turns around and sees Heejin standing alone. “Where’s Hyunjin?”

“With Lia,” Heejin says casually, ignoring the way Haseul’s jaw drops, and plops down on the couch next to her before taking a bite of her food.

“Lia. As in Hyunjin’s first love and heartbreak Lia?!” Haseul sits up. "How are you not freaking out about this?"

"Should I be?" Heejin swallows her food, now taking in the weight of leaving Hyunjin alone with a girl who used to have the Slytherin wrapped around her finger.

Haseul falters, "I-I don't know."

"It's okay. I feel like a part of me should be too, but I trust Hyunjin and I think their conversation was a long time coming, don't you think?" Heejin tells her (and to herself).

Haseul takes a moment, then sighs, "I guess you’re right. This is definitely what she needs.” Then, Haseul claps her hands, “Well then!" The older girl's mood suddenly shifts from skepticism to excitement, "Tell me about your date!"

And just like that, Heejin's focus shifts as well and her whole body lights up. She recounts the date with a huge smile (and she replaces Hyunjin's lake with the local ice rink as the Slytherin had advised her to say because she knew Haseul would ask.) Then, she explains how they went to the café and how they had coincidently ran into Lia and her boyfriend.

“Lia has a boyfriend?!” Haseul says in shock and Heejin just nods eagerly. The two act like young school girls gossiping as they talk about what happened at the café.

“Must’ve been a rollercoaster of emotions for you today then, huh?” Haseul chuckles in disbelief at how crazy Heejin’s day had been.

“It had a lot of twists and turns, but let’s hope that by the end it’ll be worth it all,” Heejin takes a deep breath.

“I think it will,” Haseul sends her a supportive smile as she reaches out to give Heejin’s hand a quick squeeze.

“Alright, enough about me, how has your day been?” Heejin asks.

The two continue to bond as they wait for Hyunjin to return home. They have some small talk and even continue the show that Haseul had been watching. The pair had become so engrossed in the show that they were watching that they didn’t even hear the door open and the footsteps approaching them from behind. They jump in their seats when someone suddenly jumps from behind the couch to then be seated in between them. Heejin doesn’t have much time to act before she feels weight against her side and an arm draped across her stomach.

“I missed you,” Hyunjin says tiredly, making Heejin smitten and Haseul disgusted after being initially scared.

“And that’s my cue to go to bed now that I know you’re home safe,” the older girl gets up off the couch to stretch then pauses the show. “Goodnight you disgustingly cute lovebirds. And just to clarify, Heejin is the cute part and Hyunjin, you're disgusting.”

“Love you too, sis,” Hyunjin laughs and so does Heejin.

Once they hear Haseul’s footsteps up the stairs, Heejin speaks up tentatively, “So… how was it?”

Hyunjin hums, “After you and Chris left the café, we kind of just picked up where we left off before you had returned with the food. So, the conversation flow wasn’t hard at first, but we both knew that we’d have to shift subjects eventually. To be honest, I can’t remember who brought it up first, but eventually we just started to talk about our friendship and how it just started to trickle down during our fifth year all the way to the abrupt ending.”

Heejin listens intently as Hyunjin goes on.

“A part of me didn’t want to tell her it ended for me because I was jealous of the guy on the phone, who we now know was Chris, but at this point, I knew we both deserve honesty. And so, we both explained why our communication broke down in our respective opinions. I don’t really want to get into much, but I just want to say thank you. I didn’t think I’d ever need that conversation with her, but I guess I did. We’re not exactly best friends anymore, but I think we’re going to try and rebuild it.”

“Well, I’m glad to hear that it all worked out,” Heejin says happily in response. Although, she'll admit to herself that there's still a part of her that feels apprehensive about Lia. Maybe she’s overthinking it, but she honestly thought Hyunjin would have had more to say. It was like Hyunjin was downplaying what had happened, like she was holding something back. Suddenly, Heejin felt like a hypocrite. She told herself that she didn’t want to push the girl, but a part of her refuses to believe that something as big as deciding to rekindle a friendship with your first love after a devastating fallout had such a simple outcome.

But due to what the rest of their break had in store, she decided that now wasn’t the time to worry about such things and that if she gets really worried about it, then she’ll bring it up.

“And don’t thank me, all I did was suggest it, you were ultimately the one who decided to go through with it,” Heejin continued without a hitch.

Hyunjin lets out a deep breath, “What a rollercoaster of a day, right babe?”

“You and Haseul really are sisters,” Heejin giggles. “She said almost the exact same thing. If you thought today was rough, imagine what tomorrow will be like,” she jokes, yet, all at once, she feels Hyunjin’s body stiffen beside her and she swears she hears Hyunjin mutter a curse word under her breath.

“I forgot that they’re coming back tomorrow,” Hyunjin raises herself from Heejin’s side and she can practically see the way Hyunjin’s mood hardens at the mention of her parents, nearly making Heejin regret her words.

“Hyun-”

“We’ll be fine, don’t worry,” Hyunjin says as if to alleviate Heejin’s anxiousness, but really it sounded like Hyunjin was telling herself not to worry. It makes Heejin want to talk a bit more with the Slytherin because throughout the time they’ve been here, it’s always been Hyunjin trying to relieve Heejin from the stress and never the other way around. Heejin had just assumed that Hyunjin was prepared for whatever the outcome was going to be because that’s how it looked from the outside, but looking at the way her girlfriend had been acting since they’ve got here, that clearly didn’t seem to be the case. It was evident that Hyunjin was just as nervous, if not more, as Heejin.

“Hyunjin…,” Heejin trails with a small pout.

“It’s okay, I’m okay. Let’s just go to bed,” Hyunjin tries to divert as she gets up and extends her hand for Heejin to take. “You must be exhausted, especially from having to pretend that you knew how to ice skate, right?”

Heejin gasps and stands in shock, “I know how to ice skate!”

Hyunjin grins and grabs Heejin’s hand to start leading her to her room. The Slytherin just continually teases her as they get ready for bed and the next thing she knows, they are now lying down. As she starts to hear Hyunjin’s breathing even out, indicating that she had fallen asleep, Heejin’s mind wanders back to moments ago and how Hyunjin had successfully avoided talking about her feelings.

With Hyunjin, it was like the two were separated by a window. It was scary, Heejin thought, how easily Hyunjin manages to make Heejin feel like the two are side by side, but in reality, Heejin is watching from outside through the invisible barrier between them.


A/N: So, I know some of you were prepared to see a jealous Heejin, but I wrote her reaction this way for two reasons:

1) Character growth! While Heejin is the jealous type, we can see her jealousy be placed to the side because this was a situation where it goes beyond her feelings. Essentially, she wanted to put Hyunjin's well-being before herself.

2) I also kinda wanted to focus more on the parents as the primary worry while at the Kim residence, so I'm pushing Lia off (will she be back? ;) ) And as you've read, Heejin is still apprehensive about Lia, but she knew that there were more pressing matters at the moment so she's trying not to think about her own personal feelings about the girl. So, is Heejin a tiny bit jealous? Probably.

So, I hope you all aren't disappointed of the lack of jealous Heejin this chapter!

Also, why do you think Hyunjin didn't want to talk much about her conversation with Lia? Is she hiding something? And where did Hyunjin's confidence about facing her parents go? What's holding her back? Guess we'll have to wait and find out!

Thanks for reading everyone and lemme know your thoughts and theories!

- S (@rv_twice5 on twitter)

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