Raindrops began to fall as Joohyun strides the road back to Seulgi’s home. How pretty they are, she thought; they looked like drops of sparkling soda.
She looked up and counted three drops of big ones falling unto her forehead; as the rain seemed to start speaking to her.
She saw a drenched resting bird on the power lines over her, the raindrops looked like a mini tiara on its head; the drops decorating the power lines into beautiful sparkling pendant and chain.
Some drops fell unto Joohyun’s eyelashes, some fell on the leaves by her side—almost making them dance. She sighed.
She may have fallen in love, she thought; the tenth drop count in her head intruded and she still didn’t know.
But who was she kidding? Herself, maybe?
She may have fallen in love long ago, long before she even knew herself.
She may have fallen in love with Seulgi—long before she even acknowledged the transition of her own feelings from platonic to romantic.
How naïve was she on the hows she herself witnessed all these times?
How she wanted to win their dominance, in hopes that she’d have Seulgi feel what Seulgi has been pushing her to feel.
How overprotective she has been to her, causing her worries, paranoia, or even anger and contempt to things or people that acts as threat, in fear that she might lose Seulgi, or afraid that she might get hurt and affected by it.
How Seulgi manages to reassure her, no matter how trivial or weird the assurance was expressed; through admittedly jargon words or clumsy gestures.
How she reacted and was affected when people started to take notice of her and her talented attributes; the annoyance shrouding the pride in a great level. That raging hormonal teenager girl, those guys she thought Seulgi was crushing on; that medical staff who just wanted to help in taking care of Seulgi, or even her sudden closeness with Sooyoung. Not to mention the names now prevalent in her head just a while ago, most especially that Kim Jisoo.
As to why Jisoo topped it all was because of their uncanniness. Jisoo looked so much like her that she can’t help but see herself. The expressions Jisoo was giving, the looks, the smile—all of it mirrored hers, but hers was more intense, more undeniable, more passionate. Their video, Be Natural, says it all.
It made her see herself on that third-person perspective. How she looked and smiled and touched Seulgi. How she reacted on her every touch, eye smiles and gazes.
How she never thought that she’d be seeing Seulgi in this kind of light, all the while already seeing her in such. How slow-paced she was in assessing her own feelings, and finally labeling it and defining it.
How before she knew of Seulgi’s crush on her, she was so bothered of Seulgi’s composed songs, in anxiousness that it might be for someone else. How she short-circuited when Seulgi did CPR on her and ended up thinking and staring at Seulgi’s lips after that.
How after knowing, she had that booming confidence and she wanted Seulgi to tell it to her, maybe because she’d be forced to say the same thing. Maybe because she wanted to be forced out of her own hesitancy, and finally say what she had been pushing back on admitting, knowing that once she did acknowledge it, there’d be no turning back from it.
How it felt like second nature, teasing and making Seulgi fluster because of her. How spending time with her brings that comfort, and at the same time the nervousness.
How she struggled finishing her song lyrics, struggling to find the exact words to express what she really feels. How she even wanted to confide to Seungwan about it but decided against it, afraid that she’d make no sense.
And when Jennie finally worded it out for her, how she felt so much fear and confusion. What if she’s wrong? What if that’s not it? How it shook her sense of self-knowing. The fear of the awareness to the road of self-discovery. This after all, will cement her new identity.
Her new identity—as Seulgi’s best friend…
…who has fallen in love with her.
And she’s recognizing it now. She’s embracing it now.
She is in love with Seulgi.
Deeply, inescapable and ever-growing.
And like the light raindrops falling, it brought with it that heavy clouds of anxiety; inside her chest.
But when she looked up as she neared the road back to Seulgi, Seulgi was already there, an umbrella in hand, looking left and right as if to look for someone. When their eyes met, a relieved expression flashed on her face with a bright smile, enough to shoo the clouds away.
Right. As she wished for the teardrops not to fall because nobody has an umbrella—she has got no umbrella—there Seulgi is, running towards her with one. And out of all the people drenched in the rain, the only person Seulgi wanted to nestle under the protection of her umbrella with, was her.
Seulgi beat her to it once again, she thought; she really is a fast-rising sunshine.
Seulgi opened the umbrella and covered her from the rain, draping her other hand over her shoulders as she rubbed her hand on her arms to warm her up.
“Why didn’t you bring an umbrella, Hyunnie? The sky was already gray when you left. Geez.”
Joohyun just hummed with a small smile. Even with that crowd of people pushing each other to get close to her, Seulgi 's eyes was on hers, watching and guarding.
“You okay, Hyunnie?” Seulgi asked worriedly as she looked down at her silent Hyunnie. She went in front of her and cupped her face, feeling her temperature. She then touched her forehead with her own and felt her a bit warmer than usual.
At that, Joohyun’s lips trembled as she tried so hard to stop the tears from falling from her eyes, as she looked at Seulgi’s eyes, and then eventually, it trailed down to her lips.
Gods, she really is in love with Seulgi.
“You’re a bit hot, Hyunnie.”
The raindrops from Joohyun’s eyes caused the raindrops on the background to become blurry polka dots, like jewels. The counting in her head weirdly continued. And by the twentieth drop, she wondered if she’ll know what’s the continuation of her love going to be. And in a sudden flash, she felt that need to give light to that dream of hers. No, not relying on Seulgi’s sunshine this time, but with her own cold hands hiding inside her jacket’s pockets.
Joohyun smiled, fishing out her both hands from her pocket, then holding Seulgi’s hands that are still cupping her face. She looked into her eyes. “I’m fine, Seulgi-yah. I’m fine now.”
Sooyoung, Seungwan and Yerim watched Seulgi and Joohyun enter back their house from outside. Seulgi just ditched off the ongoing interview a while ago after her dance when the raindrops started to fall, suddenly excusing herself. They didn’t have to ask why. The three of them knew the only reason why Seulgi would drop everything off—Joohyun.
The trio watched Seulgi run upstairs and run back with a towel in hand, drying off Joohyun’s hair, reprimanding her of not taking care of herself and not reading or watching the weather forecast, the latter was just giggling sheepishly.
And while they do that, some fans who were actually waiting for Seulgi to come back, watched with them. The good thing is that the majority of them were still out the garden, luckily being entertained by Seulgi’s brother who timely went home from school and almost everyone was fascinated in seeing the male version of Seulgi. They deducted that those who were lured were probably the straight ones, and the minority watching SeulRene’s moment right now are the actual gay for Seulgi. But how gay will they stay upon seeing this honey dripping scene in front of them??
The trio looked behind them and saw the expressions of the fans had as they watched. Some were flushed and flustered, beaming, like they were watching a romantic movie at close. More fans were pouting and had that annoyed and jealous face. While notably, one person had that sad and defeated smile, as if in understanding. And that was Kim Jisoo.
And the three somehow felt a pang inside their chest, in sympathy with the last fan. And as much as they shipped the two, they knew they had to break off their clinching, at least for the mean time.
“Hey Seul!” Seungwan called and went to Seulgi, pulling her with her back to the backyard. “We got to follow the schedule, or else Sooyoungie will get mad.” She pointed to Sooyoung who was nodding with a raised eyebrow.
“Right.” Seulgi chuckled. She let herself be dragged by Seungwan but looked back at Joohyun and Yerim who was beside each other now. “Hyunnie, make sure to take a shower, okay?” When Joohyun nodded, she huffed and beamed then went out to the backyard with Seungwan, with Sooyoung in tow. The other fans followed suit as well.
“You have to take a shower, unnie. You’re drenched. You might get sick.” Yerim said in agreement to Seulgi.
Joohyun smiled at their maknae. “Don’t worry Yerimie, I’m fine. I’ll just change clothes and will go back immediately. We have a schedule to follow, remember? Or else our Sooyoung-ah will get mad.” She tapped her shoulder then went up to Seulgi’s room to change, leaving Yerim looking at her worriedly upon noticing her a bit flushed face.
Everyone except Sooyoung gasped in amazement as the truck parked by the roadside of Seulgi’s backyard opened its metallic door automatically like a transformer, revealing their instruments placed there. It was a freaking mobile stage.
The whole crowd applauded while the five of them went up and readied themselves to perform.
“This is our maknae’s very first composed song. So please, Listen!” Seulgi introd