“I’ll see you back in the clubroom!” Seulgi shouted as she dashed away from her bandmates. It was after their school festival performance, after they greeted some fan schoolmates. Seulgi rushed soon after to get something before heading back to their clubroom.
Seulgi panted in front of her locker. As soon as she regained her breath, she opened her locker and immediately smiled upon seeing what’s inside.
A bouquet of purple tulips.
It was the specific flower Joohyun requested last year when they had their unforgettable date—the one she refused to buy for her in fear that her best friend might hint about the romantic motive behind the gesture.
But today was different from last year’s.
She got the bouquet out of her almost empty locker. Almost empty because she removed all her clutters there just to make space for the bouquet that she picked up early in the morning and hid there. All those efforts of planning, making reservation for the flower, saving her allowance for it, waking up extra early in the morning—all in secrecy—just for this day—this very special day.
She grinned from ear to ear as she read the small card stashed in between the flowers, a pink blush coloring her puffed cheeks. She took a deep breath before closing her locker, preparing and steeling her heart for what she’s about to do.
You got this, Kang Seulgi. She chanted to herself as she ran back to where their clubroom is.
Seulgi stood in front of the clubroom as if it’s made out of heavy steel and like it will open somewhere she dreaded. The faint laughing and stories of her bandmates can already be heard, inviting yet threatening. Joohyun’s voice seemed to be amplified, causing her whole body to shake in nervousness.
You got this, Kang Seulgi.
She re-chanted to herself, over and over again to stop herself from chickening out and running away. Joohyun deserves her courage. She looked down on her feet, both fidgeting on its stance and in wary to take a step forward. But she has to do this; she had decided to do this today. There’s no perfect day to tell her other than today after all.
Because today is Joohyun’s birthday.
And like how Joohyun gifted her those three words she mistakenly thought nothing of, she had decided to reciprocate the gift right here, right now, with their precious friends as witness. Seulgi is a romantic like that.
She took a deep breath, mustering every inch of courage inside her before finally opening the door.
Four heads whipped towards her, with one seemingly spotlighted out of the others; her face glowed with the light from outside the window, basking her porcelain yet blushing face with an almost ethereal beauty. Seulgi’s heart skipped when Joohyun beamed at her in a bit of surprise.
“Seulgi-yah there you are!”
Seulgi heard her call and her nervousness doubled. But she can’t help but beam back at her smiling face as she entered the room fully, with the bouquet of purple tulips safely cradled on her arm.
“Oh, you got one too?” Joohyun asked, referring to the bouquet of flowers Seulgi was carrying.
Seulgi looked down to her and there, a bouquet of red roses was being held by Joohyun’s arm. She glanced up and she can note the blush on the older girl’s face as she smelled the bouquet lovingly. “U-uh, n-no this isn’t…” She answered, but her voice was so little no one else heard it. Her heart started pacing more, as if about to burst. When Joohyun giggled cheekily, she felt her heart beats triple faster.
“A fanboy gave this to me, do you remember? That guy who had me sign his shirt? He was there at the concert house too. Park Bogum was his name.” Joohyun started, eyes reminiscing of the moment a while ago when a fanboy shyly handed her the bouquet. She tried to hide her smirk behind her innocent smiles.
Yerim did the same as Joohyun.
Sooyoung rolled her eyes while Seungwan sighed in worry. Here their leader goes again with her upcoming tease. They all saw it in her eyes when she received the bouquet—she almost looked like she was happy accepting it but they all knew behind it is that she’s looking forward to leveraging it as her advantage in teasing her best friend.
Joohyun thought that all the hints she gave to Seulgi will prompt her to confess to her, but it seemed nothing worked yet. She was expectant of it when they had their short villa vacation, but nothing happened. So she guesses it’s time to try a different approach. If Seulgi is too scared to say it, then maybe fear will make her gather the courage she needs to step up, just like how Lalisa did.
Joohyun giggled further, her eyes seem to marvel at the bouquet of roses but internally, she’s already imagining how Seulgi can get overprotective of her and that makes her insides flutter, remembering that time when she even punched Lalisa to express her protectiveness. She seemed to lose herself in a daydream of a possessive Seulgi as she continued speaking. “He asked me if I want to go out with him on a date…”
Seulgi froze at that.
“…Do you think I should, Seulgi-yah?” Joohyun asked, eyes still hazy in excitement on how Seulgi will react.
Seulgi’s whole body shook. She tried so, so hard to maintain her smile but she’s feeling her lips tremble. She gulped hard and cleared as she chanted yet again the words ‘you got this, Kang Seulgi’, but this time, with extra words of: You got this, Kang Seulgi. You can hold your tears, just a little longer.
“U-uh… If you like him Hyunnie… I don’t see why not?” She chuckled, almost sheepishly, in hard hopes that her wavering voice wasn’t noticed. But it doesn’t seem to be the case as she felt Sooyoung’s, Seungwan’s and Yerim’s eyes on her. She ignored them and continued her smiling façade; focusing on stopping her watering eyes from falling instead.
Joohyun giggled, her eyes still glued at the flowers in her hand. She smirked more in teasing. “Yeah, I think I should.”
Seulgi’s heart was glass and it dropped, just when she’s about to offer it to Joohyun.
“Oh my god Joohyun-unnie…”
Joohyun looked up from the bouquet to Sooyoung who she heard call her name in almost a whisper. When she found her not looking at her, she followed her gaze that ended up at Seulgi who still had that smile on her face—that smile from long ago; when she mushroomed back then when she was serving those teenage boys at Sooyoung’s restaurant for her training, when they had that midnight walk at the beach side, when she comforted her after she found out she dances and when she met her early that morning when she taught her Be Natural’s choreography—that smile she uses that doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “Seul—"
Seulgi huffed and scratched her nape animatedly after a short while, cutting Joohyun. “I uh… I’ll just… put this away…” Then went out of the room in a hurry... with the intent of really putting everything away.
Seulgi ran and ran. Until she finds herself on that rooftop.
Ironic, she thought. This is where she admitted her feelings to herself and this will also be where she’d let go of those very feelings.
She stood straight as she looked up at the sky, still trying so hard to not let her tears fall.
How wrong was she to think that she really had a chance with Joohyun? How naïve was she to even think of that being possible?? She’s ing wrong. She ing got it all wrong.
Her grip on the bouquet got tighter, her knuckles even turning white at the action. Joohyun’s flushed reaction replaying on her mind. Gods, she was so glad someone—a fanboy—asked her out on a date.
“Yeah, I think I should.”
It was funny, how she got it wrong, yet she ing got it right, right from the start.
How dare her really, to ing dare step out of her best friend zone? She knew Joohyun the most; she knew she had crushes before. She even knew her ideals on a guy—and that Park Bogum fits the ideal well. She knew but why did she entertain the opposite idea?
She knew Joohyun was straight—how can she think otherwise???
Right. Maybe she had become delusional. She had become so hopeful to the point of being delusional. She fed herself with hopes that she might have a chance. She first did when Seungwan opened the probability of it first. She watered that seed of hope when Joohyun got extra clingy and flirtatiously. She nurtured the possibility when Joohyun kissed her, whenever she held her, whenever she touched her, whenever she looked at her, whenever she sung as if she loved her.
But all those hopes plummeted down from the high clouds to her rock-bottom. Like how her tears continue falling down from her eyes uncontrollably. She closed her eyes, having no more strength to still stop the rain from her eyes, her lips trembling finally letting out that whimper of a sob. One, two, three,