Middle of the Night

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Warnings: language, mentions of ual assault (involves one-time-appearance character)

Perfectionism is not something you ever really associated with bouquet making… until today. You have not actually tried to make a bouquet before, and honestly, it is kind of stressful, especially with Mina hovering over your shoulder watching every little thing you do. After adding a few things to a bouquet, she will take it from you and tweak it a bit. There are barely any apparent differences when she does this. It only makes you more paranoid about what you are doing.

But what pisses you off the most is that after making two bridesmaids’ bouquets, Mina decides to make her own bouquet bigger and needs more of certain elements from the ones you already made. You have to remind yourself that all of this is for her day, and you have to respect that. Taking apart and spreading your masterpieces across her living room coffee table is painful. You have spent about 3 hours working on things, most of that time on those 2 bouquets.

“There aren’t enough flowers to do all of the bouquets and boutonnieres now,” you sigh when she thinks she has perfected her bouquet.

“We can go to the store sometime soon and get more. We need to get stuff for centerpieces anyway,” she says, slumping back against her couch, “I want to get those little strings of fairy lights and put them in clear vases with those iridescent glass rocks and flowers. I really need everyone to respond to the RSVP, so I can get an idea of how many tables we need.”

“You invited like a hundred people. With the tables at that hotel you’re looking at, eight can be seated at each. Until most people respond, just get enough for like fourteen tables. Some people might bring more than one plus-one.”

“But what if I don’t end up needing fourteen tables?”

“Take what you don’t need back to the craft store.”

“I can’t do that if I’ve already made stuff with those things.”

You peer over at your friend, whose head is leaned back on a couch cushion and eyes are closed. “Mina, use your brain. Don’t make decorations for all fourteen until you have a better idea of how many you need. Buy enough stuff for fourteen just in case. How do you have a degree?”

“I don’t need your sass. I’m stressed,” she groans and barely turns her head to look at you, “Speaking of plus-ones.”

“Don’t,” you warn and start cleaning up the mess from the bouquets to elude the conversation.

“Have you met anyone?”

“No, I’ve been busy.”

“My wedding will be here before you know it.”

“Why do I need a date? I don’t mind not having one,” you say, hands pausing on the table.

“I don’t want you to be alone during the reception. I want you to have a good time with someone because I’ll be busy making the rounds among family.”

“I’ll be busy making sure everything is going right, so a date would be by themselves anyway.”

“If we have it at that hotel, they have staff to help with most things. You need a date.”

“Mina… I don’t need a date.”

You crawl from your place on the floor onto her couch, mentally exhausted from making bouquets. Her meddling in your love life is the last thing you need right now.

“Have you been on any dating apps?” She asks, following suit onto the couch.

“You do realize I met Mark on one, right?”

“Mark isn’t the only guy who uses that app.”

“But most guys on dating apps are like Mark. You wouldn’t know. You’ve never used one.”

“I watched Kyungmi use one, and since I knew you were coming over, I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on how to set up a good profile.” She grins, pleased with herself.

“What the hell, Mina? I already deleted that app from my phone.”

“Then redownload it?”

“Are you not picking up on my reluctance?”

“Oh, no, I am. I’m choosing to ignore it because I want you to find someone to make you happy.”

“Being in a relationship isn’t the only way to be happy.”

“But it helps.”

You stare at her, unimpressed, and lie, “I don’t want a relationship right now.”

Because deep down, you’re interested in someone who will never be fully interested in you, but you can’t tell Mina that. Alas, you give in to her wish and hand over your phone when the app finishes downloading. She quickly dissects your previously made profile.

“You need different pictures,” she says as she swipes through them.

“I don’t have any recent pictures.”

“Why not?”

Your photos app is pulled up, and she starts going through all your old photos. The selection is minimal as you only take ugly selfies to annoy her with and random screenshots of things from online.

“I don’t know. I just don’t take serious selfies.”

“You can take one right now.”

“Do you not see how bad I look right now?”

“I can do your hair and makeup.”

“I don’t have time to do all that,” you remind her that you have things to do tonight.

“Then we’ll use this old one,” she suggests, stopping on a decent selfie of yours.

“That’s from like five years ago.”

“But it’s a good picture.”

“I don’t even look like that anymore. That’s basically catfishing,” you complain.

“It’s not catfishing if it’s actually you.”

“Still doesn’t feel right, but whatever.”

She smiles to herself while adding different pictures and changing your bio. One thing she does before swiping through profiles is block Mark, who was found in your old conversations. It is redundant, but it sets the tone for the time being. No boys will be tolerated, who, to you, seem unavoidable. This leads to inevitable arguments over potential suitors for the next hour as she swipes and converses with other users. It could have gone on even longer if you hadn’t mentioned you needed to leave soon to go grocery shopping.

Looking over all the new conversations in your account, Mina tells you, “Check your account when you get home and tell me if anyone messages you.”

“Any decent guy my age isn’t going to be on a dating app,” you grumble as she hands over your phone.

“Are you not a decent woman on a dating app?”

“At this point, it’s not me on the app.”

“Hey! I’m trying to help you out!”

“Help I didn’t ask for.”

“Do you want to die alone?” She jokingly asks, but it stings a bit.

“I want to meet someone normally!”

“Dating apps are the new normal!”

“I don’t think they’re for me. No one I’ve met on there has ever worked out.”

“Just try it one more time. You never know. You could match with ‘the one’ tonight.”

You sigh and stand from her couch, “I better go before I lose motivation to get groceries.”

“Have fun,” Mina teases as she walks you to her door, “Send me screenshots of messages and I’ll tell you how to reply!”

“I might just delete the app when I get to my car then!” You shout before entering the stairwell and listen to Mina’s incoherent rant as the door shuts behind you.

Although Mina thinks the dating app will spawn a new and amazing relationship for you, you know it won’t do much besides get you ually charged pickup lines that you have received multiple times before. And you are mostly correct as you read the previews of messages from your app’s notifications. Some make you uncomfortable while you shop around, tossing random food items into your basket that you probably won’t make anything with. 

You make sure to throw it in Mina’s face by sending screenshots. It makes you laugh that she’s actually surprised and disappointed that barely any of them are looking for serious relationships.

Once you are home and have put away all your groceries, you settle on a ‘healthy’ frozen dinner. The meal is kind of small and sad compared to the image on the packaging. Nonetheless, you remind yourself you have a dress to look good in. Eating healthier is a change you should probably make anyway. It’ll be worth it, right?

But the sad frozen dinner is bland, and the middle of each portion is still cold. You don’t feel like reheating each thing because you are beaten down from the long day. Maybe next time you should just get stuff to make salads. It is a bit more effort, but at least you could eat more. Could you survive on only salads until the wedding, though?

As you toss the bowl in the trash, your phone goes off on your coffee table. Mina’s name shines on your screen. Hopefully, she’s not about to bug you more about that dating app.

“Hey, I forgot to ask earlier. Do you remember that hairstylist who did your hair for your school dance?” She asks as soon as you answer.

“Vaguely, yeah.”

“You don’t happen to still have her contact information, do you?”

You think for a minute, chewing on your bottom lip, and then you recall something.

“I might have it in my phone from high school. I’ll have to dig around to find it.”

“Oh, my god. Please? I was so jealous of how she did your hair. I wanted to be older so bad so I could do it too.”

Oh, how the tables have turned.

“I’ll start looking and text you if I find it.”

“Okay, thank you so much. Bye!” She sings before the call ends.

Now, where the hell did you put the box of your high school memories? Somewhere deep in the recesses of your closet, it is there. Inside the box is your small phone from high school still in its brightly colored phone case you ordered online. You plug in the charger and hold down the lock button until the screen lights up with a battery graphic.

The first thing you see when it awakens is the lockscreen of you and your high school boyfriend smiling at each other. You remember that one of your friends caught the candid moment in a picture and later sent it to you. It was a sweet surprise as it was difficult to get him to take photos with you. You can almost feel the emotions you felt in the photo now while looking at it. The feeling of your first love and being in love. Your heart hurts thinking back to all those years ago. With this finding, all the good memories flood your mind, outweighing the bad. You can’t remember many specifics, only the happy and giddy feelings you had.

You wonder what he is up to and how he is, but you can’t bring yourself to check his social media accounts. Seeing him thrive without you would just hurt and make you feel worse about your own life. But what if he is single? Could you reunite and mend your broken relationship caused by immature reasons that you can vaguely remember? Would he still think you’re attractive? You don’t look the same as you did in high school, not that you think your appearance peaked in high school. None of that really matters unless one thing: Does he ever think of you?

This isn’t the point of you digging up your old phone. Quickly, you force yourself to look through your old contacts; there aren’t many as you knew a limited amount of people in high school. With no luck in finding that hairstylist’s number, you inform Mina that you don’t have it.

Unfortunately, curiosity gets the best of you, and you open your messages app. You scroll down to the conversation with your ex. Against your best judgement, you open it to find the memories left in this little device. The last thing you sent him was a selfie of you making an ugly face to which he had sent one right back. His sweet messages telling you good morning and goodnight still prompt the butterflies in your stomach. Scrolling through your conversation takes you back to before the heartbreak, and you begin to miss it. You’re not sure if you miss him or just the feeling.

The wrongs he did to you pale in comparison to the good. Your mind very well could be making those things up to preserve the little positivity you have left. Maybe there is hope for finding an innocent love like you once had, but then you remember where you are in life and all the odds against you.

Before you break down from all your nostalgic emotions, you turn off the phone and stash it away once again. You get ready for bed, washing your face and changing into pajamas. Your stomach quietly growls, and you remind yourself that you have already had dinner and should not eat anything else this late at night. The frozen dinner was not very filling to begin with, so maybe you could have a small snack that won’t make you feel guilty. No, you must keep your will strong.

As you plop down on your bed with a sigh, you feel your phone vibrating somewhere in the sheets. When you read the name of the late-night caller, you simultaneously get butterflies and annoyed.

“What do you want?”

“All I want is you, beautiful.” San’s voice is low and resonates through your body. 

There’s a brief pause before you groan and he giggles to himself.

“What’s wrong?” He asks with lingering amusement.

“Just stressed about things.”

“Do they have to do with the wedding?”

“Kind of, but not really. I don’t want to talk about it.”

He hums understandingly, “Sounds like you need a distraction as well. You want to go get pizza?”

“San, it’s like midnight?”

“So? Would a restaurant still be open if you weren’t supposed to eat pizza this late?”

“Do you not remember me worrying about my dress?”

“One meal isn’t going make a noticeable difference. Just live a little with me.”

With a sigh, you give in, “Fine. But I’m already in my pajamas though.”

“The red plaid ones?”

“Uh,” you glance down to check, “Yeah? Why?”

“Those are cute. I’ll wear my pajama pants if that makes you feel better. I’ll come pick you up.”


“You better not change clothes and make me look stupid by myself.”

“You do that enough on your own.”

He scoffs softly, holding back his laugh, “Alright, I’ll head over now.”

In less than ten minutes, he is already calling again, but you decline the call and head down. The driver’s side window of San’s car is down with his arm hanging out. You notice he is preoccupied with his phone and take the opportunity to mess with him. Quietly, you sneak up next to the SUV and abruptly high-five his hand, which automatically catches yours.

“You scared the out of me,” he says, leaning out the window with wide eyes.

He lets go of you, and you giggle at accomplishing your goal.

“I thought you were ignoring me and weren’t going to come down. I was about to head up there to kick down your door.”

“I doubt you could do that.”

He gives you a look like he has something hidden up his sleeve and then gestures with his head for you to get in. Slipping into his car, you see he has kept his promise about wearing pajama pants, but you didn’t expect them to be similar to your own.

“Were you trying to match me?”

“Yeah, so we can look stupid together.”

“We could have done that without matching.”

“But now we look like a couple,” he says with a grin and raised eyebrows.

“We’re not,” you ro

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f3riy4l #1
Chapter 9: please update soon :(((
Chapter 9: OMG! Welcome back!!
As a late 20s currently single adult, mc is resonating to me way too well!

Also is seonghwa the 2nd lead??coz I'm here for it
momoxia #3
Chapter 9: Her anxieties and insecurities are just too real and relatable for me. And those little sweet gestures from San, oh gosh😭 I can't.
And thank you for the update!
Chapter 9: Uh I wouldn't mind bday and if it is San handing out my gift then I'm celebrating several times a year 😜
Great update! Thank you!!
Chapter 8: This is a blessing.. Will wait for the next updatr 💚💚
momoxia #6
Chapter 8: I'm crying because this story is so good and I've been missing them😭
Chapter 8: I would say that they both have it pretty bad for one another. I got a feeling that we might see fireworks sometime when they eventually connect.
Chapter 7: Their "relationship" is moving forward of sorts. When San needed someone to lift his spirits he called her and when she needed the same she agreed to his late night outing. It will continue to intrigue me how this plays out as the story progresses.
Thank you for the update!!!
Chapter 6: Such a great, GREAT update!! Everyone has insecurities and as we get older some if them magnify in our minds. I totally get where she is coming from. Nothing looks good on me!! Plus all the good ones are taken!!
F this b.s. Lady! Go get yourself some San!!