end (our suffering.)

ten years and counting

 

July 11, 2030


 

Yujin could feel drops of sweat forming on her forehead as she stood in front of the exclusive restaurant. She remained standing there, rooted on her spot and hesitating but she knew she had to enter or else, she was going to be late for their little hang-out.

 

A sigh escaped her lips, she was a little bit exhausted since she literally went there after she just landed from an almost twelve hours flight. She came from Indonesia and had no time to take a rest before she went here.

 

Not like she would be able to take a rest knowing what would happen today.

 

She knew that Minjoo was here. After all, Minjoo was one of Hyewon’s closest friends, including her. Well, it was not like it was bad — it has been almost two years since she last saw Minjoo, not just that—almost two years since she last saw her friends here in Korea.

 

For the last two years, as Yujin wanted to happen—she went far, far away from Minjoo and tried to sort out her thoughts and feelings, and at the same time, take a break and relax from everything. She was an idol, and an actress so there was barely enough time for herself.

 

And surprisingly, somehow, traveling around the world and discovering new things really helped her in many ways. She was much more relaxed and happy now. She only went back home because Hyewon asked her to, because of her wedding and Yujin didn’t have the guts to refuse. It had been really a while too. She missed South Korea, she missed her friends, she missed her family, she missed everything about this country, and unfortunately, she missed Kim Minjoo so ing bad.

 

Of course, there were still feelings left. She was sure of that, much to her disappointment. Well, she literally loved Kim Minjoo for more than a decade even without having direct romantic involvement with her. Moving on is a pain in the , it was very difficult but rather than before, she was better at holding her feelings now.

 

After that very night, on her birthday — she immediately went to another country so Minjoo wouldn’t be able to reach her or hear about Minjoo. She lingered for a while in Canada, roaming around the foreign country with a blank mind and mentally unhinged, also carrying her broken heart around.

 

It was tough, but soon, she learned how to loosen up and have fun admiring the view, she found it very healing. And soon, she got used to it and she felt better than ever. Even though, still, Minjoo haunted her mind. Even though her broken heart still yearned for Minjoo. She still continued to live on.

 

Yujin thought she was ready to face Minjoo again but whenever she thought of a scenario where she would meet Minjoo face to face — she just felt like sinking. She thought she could do it but look who was literally frozen and in great hesitation to enter and meet her again.

 

Maybe she was afraid that her shattered heart would just flip happily at the sight of her after a long time. She feared that the feelings she tried to bury in the deepest part of her heart would be back and would bloom again once their eyes met.

 

It scared Yujin a lot but…

 

The tall woman took a deep breath and finally entered the restaurant with heavy steps, on her own bottom lip as she padded towards the restaurant Hyewon rented whole just for them.

 

She needed to face them, she needed to face Minjoo no matter what.

 

To show them that she was back and stronger than before, that she had no bitter feelings and that she could still be friends with Minjoo.

 

Yes, there was no issue about still being friends with Minjoo, with or without feelings — Minjoo would be a close friend of hers no matter what. Even after what happened. Yujin treasures her friendship with the older woman so much.

 

That was enough. That was more than enough.

 

She entered the main dining hall, and she was greeted by tons of familiar people. And unfortunately, she got a lot of attention — people really rushed over her and started to give her hugs and greetings. Her former groupmate, both two, were also there, bombarding her with questions and showering her with kisses.

 

But the small chaos ended quickly when Hyewon went over her and pulled her into a bone-crushing hug. “You pup! You came!” She exclaimed happily, hopping up and down. Yujin just chuckled, hugging Hyewon back.

 

“Of course, I can’t miss your wedding next week,” The younger responded, breaking the hug and Hyewon was almost in awe when she faced her properly.

 

“Woah, you’ve changed. In a good way, you looked more… laid back!” Hyewon complimented with a cheeky grin and Yujin winked at her, giving her a shrug as a response before greeting Eunbi who tackled her for a hug alongside Yena.

 

Eunbi literally peppered her with kisses that she had to push the older woman away from her and grabbed Chaewon — blocking Eunbi with her. And it kinda worked, the former leader gave Chaewon a hug and kisses instead, making the latter wince and cry for help.

 

Yujin cackled, her heart warming up as she watched her friends acting like the old times. They might’ve gotten older but they all still act like kids and teenagers. She missed it all.

 

But she noticed that she hadn’t seen Minjoo around yet, there was a huge crowd of people in the hall but until now, Minjoo hadn’t appeared in her line of sight yet which made her think that maybe she was still not yet here.

 

Yuri suddenly popped up in front of her, snickering and wiggling her eyebrows. “Minjoo is here,” She said softly with a hint of teasing like she could read Yujin’s mind. The younger one blushed a bit, feeling like she got caught.

 

The older then chuckled at her surprised reaction, nodding her head towards the glass doors that will lead them to the huge garden of the said place. “She’s actually waiting for you there.” She added, then gave her a smile. “Go on. I think she has something to say,” Before walking away, going to Yena and gave her a sudden smack on the head for no reason.

 

Yujin was frozen for a bit, her gaze turning to the garden, already seeing the pathway that will lead to the garden, her heart was already acting up.

 

Suddenly, all her exhaustion and negative feelings vanished just like that. She hesitated but soon, she found herself walking towards the said place, reaching the beautiful garden with light hesitant steps.

 

As she walked along the flowery pathway, she couldn’t help but to admire the different flowers planted there — all looking so beautiful in their own ways.

 

She walked deeper into the garden, roaming her eyes around to spot a familiar flower she has been missing for a long time now. The most beautiful flower she had ever seen in her life…

 

But then after a few minutes of walking and turning, she finally saw a figure nearby — checking out some white flowers that Yujin recognized as Gardenias. She paused, looking at the person — she was a little bit intrigued because this person is the first human Yujin saw in this quiet, wide garden so far.

 

It didn’t help that this person struck familiarity to her.

 

She walked closer unconsciously, like a moth attracted to fire.

 

Her feet halted when she was close enough, her heart beating erratically as her eyes stared at the person. Her gaze lowered down to check her out, and she finally realized that this person was a woman.

 

The said woman is wearing a floral knee length dress paired with white sneakers, perfectly blending in with the flowers. She was a little bit tall and the dress hugged her curves nicely, with her short black hair dancing along with the gentle wind.

 

She hadn’t even seen her face yet but her heart already started to act up, it was just like she was a lovestruck teenager once again. This woman just excludes a very elegant and beautiful aura, a very familiar one even.

 

Her heart then skipped a bit when the said woman finally turned around when she finally noticed someone’s presence near her.

 

And Yujin really stopped breathing when she finally saw her face and recognized her — of course, she would never not recognize that goddamn face. Even just a glimpse of it can make Yujin’s heart rattle in joy.

 

Kim Minjoo.

 

Her greatest love. The woman that her heart would never get tired of loving even though what she brought to Yujin were all just heartbreaks and aches, with a dash of flutters.

 

She was the same, yet she was not. Her hair was short, barely reaching half of her neck and she looked absolutely stunning that Yujin’s breath hitched at how pretty she was. Minjoo was just wearing very light make-up and goodness, natural was really the best look on her, Yujin concluded.

 

Maybe because she never saw her for years, that was why her yearning for this goddamn woman just intensified even more when she saw her personally again. Still looking so fine, aging like a fine wine.

 

She was so struck that she only snapped back on Earth when Minjoo tilted her head a bit, her pink luscious lips forming into a small sweet smile as the shocked expression on her face got replaced by… longing and happiness.

 

“It’s been so long, Yuj,” Minjoo greeted her, voice still soft as ever and melodic — a lullaby to Yujin’s ears. The same voice that used to haunt her every night, yet the same voice that lul her to sleep and calms her down.

 

The older woman then brought her hand up to the side of her face, tucking the stray hair blocking her face behind her ear while still wearing her usual smile and Yujin’s heart absolutely stopped at the beautiful moment she had witnessed.

 

Damn, Minjoo was indeed the most beautiful flower.

 

“Yeah,” Yujin croaked out, the corner of her lips tugged upwards. “Almost two years? Pretty long, indeed.” She added, chuckling breathlessly.

 

Minjoo grinned at that, averting her gaze and turned her body sideways — walking to the nearby bench and flopped herself there then turned to look at the frozen Yujin there, patting the space beside her. “Take a seat. Let’s have a chat.” She softly instructed.

 

And like an obedient puppy, Yujin slowly moved — approaching Minjoo and the closer she got, the more nervous she felt. But still, she continued, walking to her casually and halted when she was near, taking a good closer look at Minjoo who was looking up at her with a tight smile, eyes sparkling.

 

Yujin sat beside her, of course, with a gap but they were so close that she could smell vanilla and jasmine amidst these different fragrances of flowers surrounding them. It made her light-headed. It was so pleasant and her tense nerves started to get more relaxed.

 

There was a pregnant silence between them, both of them staring at the flowers in front and refused to make eye-contact again. Yujin could feel that Minjoo was a little bit tense too, judging how stiff her posture was.

 

And Yujin was right.

 

Minjoo was also malfunctioning. She had been so nervous ever since earlier, knowing that she would meet Yujin again after years of not meeting her, it didn’t help that she never got much news about the younger one after she left the country and traveled around the world for the reasons Minjoo very well knew.

 

So, when she heard from Hitomi that Yujin would be back for Hyewon’s wedding, she was so anxious.

 

She was anxious because after a long time of having conflicting feelings, she decided to tell everything to the younger one. She deserved to know, Yujin deserved to know her feelings all these years. And this would give them closure.

 

They’ve been hurting for a long time already.

 

“How are you?” Minjoo decided to break the silence and speak first, starting with a light hearted question.

 

Yujin her lower lip, “All good. I’m more relaxed now, y’know? It’s so healing to see and roam around other countries.” She responded, glancing at Minjoo who was still looking at the flowers, admiring it as she conversed with her. For some reason, her eyes stayed still.

 

Chuckling, the older nodded in understanding. “Quite nice. Seems like it somehow made you feel content and happy,” She murmured, picking her own nails and her expression went a little bit grim but she’s happy for Yujin that she’s now… much better after being away from Minjoo.

 

A sting passed through her heart.

 

The younger pursed her lips together tightly before replying. “It did. It was tough at first but it slowly helped me.”

 

Minjoo gently nodded, doodling circles on her thigh, briefly taking a glance at Yujin and averted her eyes with a small smile. “I really hope you’re okay now…” She whispered with a sad tone.

 

Yujin caught it and she immediately knew what Minjoo was talking about and she let out a crooked smile, craning her head to look at the older woman who had her eyes on her lap, looking a little bit guilty. “I’m not fully okay yet. It’s hard. But what matters the most is that I’m trying, unnie. Believe me, I’m good.” She said, and paused for a bit to heave a sigh.

 

“And I hope you’re not beating yourself up about it, unnie.” Added by Yujin which made Minjoo laugh humorlessly.

 

She said nothing but it was enough to answer that she had been beating herself about it ever since. Yujin didn’t know how much she loathed herself for all the pain she had caused to her and to herself.

 

Once again, the both of them succumbed into silence — a gust of wind passed by and Yujin closed her eyes, letting the wind hit her skin and took a lungful of fresh air. The silence made her feel less tense and nice.

 

“You know, I have a lot of things that I need to tell you,” Minjoo suddenly murmured, and Yujin hummed, fluttering her eyes open and turned to look at the older woman, meeting gazes with her.

 

Minjoo took a deep breath, her lower lip anxiously as she continued. “So many things that you deserve to know.” She breathlessly added, her eyes started to get even softer.

 

It made Yujin nervous, but she said nothing, listening attentively to the older woman and nodded as a signal for her to continue speaking, her full attention on her.

 

Smiling when she got the reassurance, Minjoo looked away, finding the beautiful bright blue skies above them more interesting. She was having a hard time breathing but she needed to let this all out, she already gathered enough courage to tell Yujin — she couldn’t back out when she was already in front of her.

 

For now, she hoped that this wouldn’t change Yujin much.

 

“You know, I have a lot of fears,” Minjoo started off once again, clasping her fingers together and paused for a moment to inhale some air. “So many of them that’s why I couldn’t bring myself to say some words to you.”

 

Yujin was confused but she never said anything, just listening to the older woman with great interest, trying to figure out what she may be saying.

 

“That night. That night you confessed that you loved me for almost a decade and counting, Yujin. The night you ran away and slipped from my hands fully… I badly wanted to say this,” Minjoo mustered up courage because she’s slowly falling apart once again.

 

She could feel herself crumbling down again but she needed to continue.

 

The younger one froze at the mention, the pace of her heartbeats speeding up as she stared at Minjoo with anticipation and also quite nervous of what she would hear. It felt like something caught .

 

“For ten years and counting, too, Ahn Yujin. I, Kim Minjoo, the coward — loved you back silently even if I already lost my whole sanity seeing you get hurt because of me.”

 

And there it was.

 

Yujin was too taken aback at what she heard, her ears even rang for a moment as she eyed Minjoo in great shock and disbelief, the words she had said trying to be processed in her brain. She was too shocked and speechless to say anything, she gaped at Minjoo dumbly, watching her slowly cry in front of her as she continued to confess all her deepest secrets.

 

It felt like a sharp knife was then taken out from Minjoo when she said that. Her chest then became light after she confessed. For twelve years, she hid that from everyone, from Yujin — just painfully keeping it all to herself until it took a toll on her.

 

But now was not the great time for self-blame again. She already accepted the truth that she solely made a mistake this time, that there was no chance anymore as she already wasted and ignored it a couple of times.

 

Yujin still kept mum and Minjoo just continued blabbering.

 

“I know. I’m so stupid, right? A whole coward?” The older woman then started to say, giggling bitterly to herself. “You probably hate me now, and I won’t blame you for that. I caused you a lot of heartbreaks and it’s enough reason to loathe me,” She added and hung her head down low.

 

Yujin’s eyes twitched at the words, ‘hate’ and ‘loathe’. Just what? Hating on Minjoo? Hell no. Never. Even if she’s the cause of Yujin’s misery, there’s just no way she will hate Minjoo.

 

Minjoo sniffled, trying to hold back a sob. “I-I… I’m really, really sorry, Yujin. You know a simple ‘sorry’ isn’t enough for all of what I did.” She muttered, hissing at herself. “I was just… I, I was so ing terrified of what might happen to us if I ever did accept you, if I ever did tell you I also love you as much as you love me. I was a coward, and still is. I’m still scared of a lot of things.” Added by Minjoo, her voice cracking as well as her heart — not just her heart but also Yujin’s.

 

All of those tried to sink into Yujin’s brain but when she saw how vulnerable and broken Minjoo looked —she immediately pulled her into a warm comforting hug, her heart aching painfully.

 

Minjoo melted into the hug selfishly, hugging Yujin back tightly like she didn’t want to let go and the younger woman just patted her back, silently. Her mind is still running, trying to process the words Minjoo had said to her.

 

And suddenly, she found herself in Minjoo’s shoes.

 

“God, I’m so frustrated with myself. There were chances and I let them pass through me, not even batting an eye on it. I endured the pain because of the thought I couldn’t be with you. I had to watch you get hurt because of me, because of my cowardice. I was so mad to the point I lost myself,” Minjoo cried out, the grip on Yujin’s coat tightening.

 

The younger woman took a sharp inhale.

 

“For many, many years, Yujin. I suffered so much. And until now, I do still think I deserve all of the hell I’ve been through.” Minjoo whispered weakly to her and Yujin’s heart dropped at that, gulping.

 

A sigh escaped from the tall woman’s lips, tightening her hug to give Minjoo more warmth and comfort. She knew it was her turn to speak.

 

“I don’t blame you for doing all of that.” Yujin said softly, genuine and a little bit strained, she was trying to hold back her tears.

 

“I don’t hate you for hurting me because of your fears,” The younger woman continued with a very gentle voice and she felt Minjoo shaking her head furiously against her chest but she just hushed her down calmly. “I can’t bring myself to be mad at you because I understand.”

 

Yujin understood everything clearly. It was not hard to connect everything, to analyze everything so she would be enlightened by Minjoo’s actions. It was all valid and understandable. Yes, Yujin got hurt so many times to the point it shattered her whole but in all angles, no matter what — Minjoo’s reasons are valid.

 

She couldn’t afford to be mad at her even after all of these years of suffering. She couldn’t because she could understand Minjoo. And she knew how much Minjoo suffered so much too because of it.

 

Yujin could clearly see the frustration, guilt, and regret in Minjoo and it broke her heart, it saddened her badly. Unlike Yujin, Minjoo bottled everything up to herself, keeping all of those secrets in her while the younger had some people to lean onto.

 

Minjoo only got herself despite the self blame.

 

Yujin couldn’t even imagine the great pain Minjoo went through. From pretending that everything was fine, to hiding her feelings casually to avoid conflicts, pressure, judgements, awaiting troubles.

 

Minjoo was not selfish and evil for it. She saved Yujin and herself from something harmful for the both of them. She played safe, she played good in the middle of a harsh society they were living in.

 

Yujin would never, ever, blame Minjoo for those decisions.

 

If she was mad at someone, then she was ing mad to the universe for toying with them. She was mad at this world but never Minjoo.

 

“Even if you turn the world upside down, I can’t just find your fault for doing those.” Yujin continued, caressing her short hair lovingly as finally, a lone tear fell from her eye. “Fears aren’t easy to face. They’re scary. I don’t blame you for being a coward in this harsh world where people eye your every move, one mistake and you’re going to be bombarded with hate. When you don’t meet their standard, then you’re doomed.” She muttered and bit her lower lip.

 

“You suffered more than me, Minjoo. With constant fear, paranoia, guilt, regrets, nightmares, scary thoughts eating you up everyday. You kept everything to yourself, and because of that, it slowly consumed your whole being. I don’t even want to know…” Yujin added, finding it hard to breathe as she thought of Minjoo crying every night because of the mentioned reasons.

 

Just why did it have to lead into this? Both of them suffered badly, they got scarred because of all of these. Too painful.

 

“You should stop feeling that way, stop loathing yourself because of the things you can’t prevent. I will never hate you for thinking of our future instead of risking it with me. It hurts, I suffered, yes but you suffered too. I think we should stop feeling this way anymore.” Yujin then again said, breaking the hug slowly and cupped Minjoo’s tear-stained cheek, almost cooing at the sight but her heart surely did ache.

 

Minjoo was feeling too guilty and mad at herself but she was relieved hearing all of that from Yujin. God, the younger woman accepted their faults that easily and quickly understood her point of view. Wasn’t she a wonderful woman? Minjoo didn’t deserve her, she didn’t deserve Yujin’s intense love for her.

 

But because of what Yujin had said to her, a heavy weight on her shoulders had been lifted out and Minjoo became less suffocated.

 

She couldn’t help but to sob even harder when Yujin started to wipe her tears while giving her a reassuring smile. Ahn Yujin was just so beautiful, so charming, and it hurts Minjoo.

 

“Every night, I always think of a lot of ‘what ifs’. I always think, when am I going to be able to hold you close? You don’t know how much I yearned for you. But because of my fears and decisions, I couldn’t pull you closer and keep you away from the world.” Minjoo just found herself blurting all of those out, pursing her lips together into a thin line.

 

Ill feelings started to creep up into her chest again but it all went away when Yujin grinned, still caressing Minjoo’s pale cheek with the pad of her thumb.

 

Just hearing these all from Minjoo, it made her heart giddy. She didn’t care anymore, at least, she finally heard her true feelings. That Minjoo loved her back, that she loved and yearned her as much as she did for her.

 

The only thing that kept her from surging forward and then finally claim Minjoo’s lips was that she was married to a man, that she was tied with Jihyeok. Yujin still had some decency in her, she respected the couple even after all of these.

 

“That’s enough for me to know… that all the time, you’ve also wanted me to be yours… That my love was actually reciprocated...” Yujin whispered sadly, almost breathless but she kept smiling. “That’s very much enough for me, Kim Minjoo.”

 

Yujin then retreated her hands, and Minjoo winced at the lack of contact and warmth, biting her bottom lips because of it — suddenly, it felt like Yujin was away again, like millions of miles away. It lit up fear in her heart.

 

Minjoo then grabbed Yujin’s hand, holding it gently and brought it to her lips, pressing a kiss on the back of it and the younger woman was frozen in shock at the sudden gesture.

 

The visual did this before, when she asked Yujin to continue being an idol, and that was years ago. But the effect of it on Yujin remained the same.

 

“I’m really sorry, Yujin-ah, I’m sorry that we turned like this. I made big mistakes and decisions that didn’t allow us to be together. But I promise you, in the next lifetime — I will never let a chance pass. I will chase you until the very end of the world and we’ll be happy.”

 

When Minjoo said that, every word screamed sincerity. She really looked so guilty and sad over how everything turned out for them.

 

Yujin couldn’t even bring herself to feel down, instead, she felt reassured. “I’ll hold onto that promise of yours. I’ll wait then.” The younger one answered playfully, throwing her a dimpled sheepish grin and it made Minjoo giggle, still not letting go of her hand and Yujin would like to keep it that way.

 

She missed holding Minjoo like this.

 

The both of them smiled at each other before turning their heads to the flowers in front of them, they’re surrounded by gardenias, roses, tulips, and forget-me-not flowers which Yujin found amusing yet romantically bittersweet.

 

Silence engulfed them, enjoying the quietness of the place and the tranquility after pouring their emotions out. Just feeling each other’s presence, their hands still glued to each other and tightly intertwined. This was the only thing they could do.

 

Yujin tried her best to ignore the ring wrapped around Minjoo’s ring finger, it was a new one and definitely the wedding ring while the engagement ring was on her left ring finger. A black ink spread through her chest.

 

She wanted to talk with Minjoo more, for sure, it was her last chance to talk to her like this so she needed to cherish everything.

 

After mustering up some courage, she cleared and it kind of earned Minjoo’s attention. Yujin awkwardly looked around before muttering the question she wanted to ask, “A-Are you going to form a small family soon with Jihyeok-oppa? Uh — you know, kids?” She shamelessly asked.

 

Minjoo was in awe for a bit since the question caught her off guard before letting out a small chuckle. Yujin was fidgeting nervously, mentally cursing at herself for asking such a question that probably made Minjoo uncomfortable, and that will hurt herself. Great job!

 

Of course, Yujin was curious if Minjoo loved Jihyeok after the confession. This was her subtle way of asking that awkward question but it made everything more awkward, it may seem.

 

“Hmm,” The older woman hummed, puckering her lips a bit. “Not so soon, I think? Me and Jihyeok are still busy with our schedules… And we’re not ready to enter the parenthood stage.” She answered and Yujin tried her best to look natural, to look unaffected.

 

“I see…” The taller but younger responded gloomily.

 

Minjoo let out a soft sigh, tilting her head up to the sky. “I learned how to love Jihyeok along the way.” She then clarified, like she could read Yujin’s mind and the latter had mixed feelings, silent. “I know it doesn’t sound nice, loving two people. Heh. I love Jihyeok as my partner but… it will never reach the level of my love for you.” Added by her.

 

Yujin just playfully huffed at that. Minjoo threw her a crooked smile.

 

Another short silence and this time, Minjoo broke it after hesitating a bit. “How about you? Any… particular person that caught your interest so far?” It was a suicide question.

 

God, the both of them are so helpless, indeed. They do love hurting their own selves.

 

The younger woman blinked, turning to her and eyed her for a few moments. “I… met this woman six months ago when I was in Scotland.” She started off, observing Minjoo’s reaction to see if she would continue it or not but the latter just gave her an amused smile, a little bit strained but nonetheless, a sweet happy smile and so, Yujin continued.

 

“She’s Korean-American. I kinda met her there and we kinda got along because we’re both Korean. We kept bumping into one another throughout my two weeks stay in Scotland and I guess we spent time together visiting some tourist spots. Then, we met again in Italy after a week. I guess, we vibed… found out that she was also traveling the world, running away from the person she loves… just like me…” Yujin continued telling her story and Minjoo listened to her, a smile still intact and even nodding along like a good fox.

 

Yujin didn’t even realize that she’s getting passionate about sharing her story about this girl. “We decided to share contact and we met around different countries until two months ago. She asked me if the both of us can go to Paris, I agreed. She then gave me a proposal, saying that we should try to help each other out with these feelings. She knows it’ll be hard but she said she would like to try to work things out with me and we’ll help each other heal.” She told Minjoo, and didn’t even notice that she’s smiling the whole time and reminiscing about some of those happy memories.

 

“I agreed. I can’t deny I’m attracted. She’ll also be back in Korea in three days…” Yujin paused, her smile instantly fading when she noticed that Minjoo was staring at her with fondness and a sweet smile. Her heart drummed wildly in her chest.

 

“What is her name? This girl?” The older one asked, it was low but there was no hint of envy or anything. Although, she might admit that she’s a little bit jealous that this girl could spend time with Yujin.

 

The younger her lower lip, hesitating but she said it anyway. “Jahyeon,”

 

Minjoo nodded, flashing another smile. “It seems like Jahyeon really made you happy, even just quite a bit. Good to know.” She murmured.

 

“Yeah. She’s crazy and amusing. You’ll like her once you meet her. She’s very nice too.” Yujin commented which made Minjoo snort.

 

“Alright, she can have you this lifetime but the other next ones? You’re exclusively mine.” Minjoo half-joked and Yujin laughed at that but the possessiveness in her tone made her shiver and giddy.

 

The older then glanced at her watch, gasping a bit when she saw the time and stood up from her seat, making Yujin also stand up, confused. “They’re probably starting to eat lunch now. Let’s go back inside.” Minjoo announced, and finally, their hands broke apart.

 

Yujin smiled, nodding mutely and Minjoo turned around, already walking hastily to the pathway that would lead to the restaurant itself but before she could even walk that far, the younger suddenly called for her.

 

“Minjoo-ah,”

 

Minjoo halted on her steps, turning back around to face Yujin with a quirked brow. The taller woman just smiled at her, dimple showing deep and approaching closer with her hands in her pocket.

 

“We suffered long enough, don’t you think?” Yujin softly asked, halting in front of her and towering over the older woman.

 

Tilting her head, Minjoo gave her a soft gentle gaze. “We did.” She replied, taking a deep breath before adding, “I think it’ll be for the better to… end things now. You know? Let’s move on and continue to live this life even if it’s tough.”

 

Yujin nodded, her heart fluttering yet also hurting but this was what she wanted. “I believe that this is the end that suits us. The closure.” She whispered softly, and Minjoo just lowered her head, avoiding her gaze before taking a few steps forward, embracing Yujin again.

 

Smiling, Yujin instantly wrapped her arms around Minjoo, hugging back. “Yeah. Unfortunately. But this is the best one. I have no complaints anymore.” She murmured against her shoulders which made the younger chuckle.

 

“We’re good, we’re good. That’s what matters the most.” Yujin whispered sadly, pressing a kiss on the side of Minjoo’s head.

 

Their hearts painfully stung, but this was enough. At least they got closure, and this is the best ending they could ever receive. They’re content, they’re satisfied, they don’t want anything less or more.

 

The hug lasted for a few seconds before Minjoo broke it, reaching for Yujin’s hand and when their eyes met — the older gave her a grin that never failed to make her heart skip a bit.

 

“Come on, we need to eat lunch now. I heard that you literally went here just right after you landed from an almost twelve hour flight! Idiot as ever,” Minjoo nagged, brows furrowing as she tugged her hand before dragging her hastily.

 

Yujin grinned at that, huffing out a laugh at the cute nag from Minjoo. “Aye, ma’am.” She could only mutter, a grin still plastered on her face as she let Minjoo drag her like a rag doll towards the restaurant.

 

Their withered ‘love’ story might have ended up not really that happy, they did not end up together happily, but for the both of them — this was the ending they wanted, the ending where they were fine — still friends and on good terms.

 

Maybe next time, their story would be all nice and full of rainbows.

 

Next time. That was for sure.


 

***


 

“We might’ve loved each other, but this is nothing like a love story at all.”


 

***


 

A/N: heyooo~ i hope the sequel gave you guys enough closure and enlightenment. im sorry but this is my original plan, they will never end up together, not this time. if we’re being realistic and seeing how their story unfolded, one could already tell that they can’t have each other.

 

not when the both of them are hurting. not under these circumstances they are currently in.

 

unfortunately for the both of them and for y’all. *sad noises*

 

this is the ending i thought they deserve after the suffering they've been through and i hope y’all think the same. i do think this is the ‘happy’ ending that fits them, rather than a sad one, its a relieving one lolol please comment the ending some of you guys think that best for them lmao

 

also, please comment y’alls thoughts! i really like comments so much, be it long rants or anything. im willing to listen. and you guys can ask me some questions too, if you’re confused why i made the story like this etc. dont be shy and drop em! *upvotes and subs r very much appreciated too*

 

once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading ten years and counting.

 

***


 

“For ten years and counting, Ahn Yujin and Kim Minjoo greatly suffered from loving each other too much...”


 

***


 

“Their story won’t end, and will never end.”


 

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