part one: the woman from the past.

through space and time

 

A/N: okay before reading! just a reminder that i dont really know much about science and there might be some inaccuracies here. the one who created this prompt which is my dear friend six, just helped and guided me writing this. im pretty unfamiliar to the field of science so whoops sorry if there’s a mistake. i’ve done little research but it might not be enough.

 

this is PURELY fictional though. might not be real but who knows lmfao

 

also not in the information or facts or events, there might be some grammar mistakes and errors lol please bear with me as usual~ buckle up because this will be a longer ride. enjoy!!!

 

***

 

Minjoo didn’t believe in time travel.

 

Okay, first of all, it was just simply absurd and stupid — like, seriously? Travelling through time? To the past or to the future? Absolute bull. Sure, it sounded intriguing and interesting for a lot of people, just simply thinking of travelling through time would be amazing. However, it was just fantasy, made up by people.

 

Second, don’t even start on rambling any scientific explanation of how time travel could be real and existing. Minjoo wouldn’t hear any crap about that. She had enough hearing those confusing, and bewildering scientific or physics facts from her friends who were absolute mad geniuses in science. Those things always made her dizzy and space out.

 

Lastly, Minjoo just simply believed that it didn’t exist at all. If it was, then that should be magic or something unearthly. Even science couldn’t reach that kind

of things. There was just no way that it could be explained through words, comprehensible to humans. It was just out of reach of the intellect of a human.

 

Time travel only existed in humans’ imagination. That was what Minjoo used to believe in.

 

***

 

“Yuri, can you stop playing Hey Jude and play another song instead? I’m so sick of listening to it already, I can’t even focus on studying.” Minjoo said, her voice was laced with annoyance, gritting her teeth a bit as she gripped on her pen tightly.

 

Yuri let out a gasp at that, straightening her posture while sitting on one of the seats — she then hugged the speaker protectively while it was still blasting the song in maximum volume. The woman then poked her tongue out to annoy Minjoo even more.

 

“What a brat,” huffed the older woman, shaking her head with a click of tongue before turning to her notes and books scattered on the table again since she knew she wouldn’t win against Yuri and would just keep doing whatever she wanted like a typical brat. She tried her best to ignore the loud song that she kept hearing for the nth time already, each replay — Minjoo was getting sicker and sicker of hearing it to the point she just wanted to rip her ears off.

 

Hyewon, who was beside Minjoo and fiddling with her switch, noticed the small commotion in the leisure room. She turned to Minjoo who was wearing a scowl. “Hey, Minjoo. I heard that you got the second lead role for the theater project? Who’s the leading lady?” asked the woman, curious, and it was an attempt to make Minjoo less focused on getting annoyed at Yuri and to the music blasting out loud around the room.

 

“Ah, Jang Wonyoung,” Minjoo answered simply, writing something down in her notebook then looking up from her notes. Before she could even continue what she was saying — a loud shriek could be heard from behind that made every person present in the room jolt up in shock.

 

Even the ever so focused Chae-siblings who were typing away fast and smoothly on their keyboards got distracted at the loud noise. And as expected, it was Yuri who was giggling something on her phone — she then jumped onto her feet.

 

Yuri rushed over to Chaeyeon and Chaewon who were seated in front of their monitors and as usual, typing codes and stuff that Minjoo couldn’t really understand even until now. Related to their science experiments, most probably — the mad genius half-siblings’ brains were just pretty much out of the world anyway; even Einstein, Tesla, and Newton would be amazed at them if they ever witnessed their achievements and capabilities. Too bad they were all dead.

 

“Chaeyeon-ie, Chaewon-ie!” Yuri called for their attention — the siblings sighed, turning away from their computers, and looked up at their friend who was wearing a very determined look on her face. And Minjoo knew that Yuri would say something bizarre again, or just be simply a brat.

 

“Can you build a time machine? Like you know, so we can travel to the past or future? Pretty please? I really want to watch The Beatles’ live performance!” pleaded Yuri with a pout, batting her eyelashes to look more cute and pitiful — she then showed her phone that was playing the mentioned band’s past performance. Chaeyeon and Chaewon eyed each other meaningfully but kept mum.

 

Minjoo snorted at the mention. “That’s just absurd, Yuri. A time machine? Time travelling? You’re insane,” She commented snarkily, and started to tidy up her books and notebooks. She didn’t want to hear any scientific right now! Her brain was already fried, and if she stayed for sure, her nose would bleed soon. “Besides, time travelling isn’t real. It can’t happen. Impossible.”

 

Sure, the half-siblings love science so much — just everything related to science, and they were geniuses in that field. They even invented things that had never been created before, for fun. Those things that would make the world’s future even brighter. But sometimes, being their friend was pretty insufferable, especially for Minjoo who wasn’t interested in science. Heck, she almost failed her Physics subject before.

 

Raising her brow, Yuri gave her a grim look. “Nothing is impossible to these two! They literally invented a teleportation device! I’m sure they know how to make a time machine. And hey, time travelling is real!” She argued, even pointing at the siblings.

 

Well, it was the truth; nothing was impossible to those geniuses. Their minds were full of wonders, and there was no limit at all — wide as the space itself, endless. These two literally invented a teleportation device out of boredom! Both of them look like the typical smarty pants who just excel in their classes but beneath those facades — they were more than that, they were mad geniuses who could surpass other notable inventors and geniuses that received Nobel Prizes. But decided to hide in the shadows in peace, inventing and discovering new things that were out of the world and not yet existing without people bothering them for their creations.

 

However, even so, Minjoo knew that time travelling was something out of their reach. They were geniuses, not magicians. They did not possess superpowers that would make them go back in time.

 

Teleportation was one thing but time travelling? Madness. Just how…? Simply impossible. Minjoo wanted to laugh.

 

Minjoo ignored Yuri who was blabbering and shouting theories and proofs that time travelling was absolutely real and could happen — even mentioning Tesla and other genius people in the field of science that mentioned that time travelling was possible. Finally, Minjoo gathered all of her things, slinging her bag on her shoulders then turned to Yuri — still talking about how time travelling could be possible to prove something while Chaewon and Chaeyeon watched and listened in amusement.

 

“It’s just all theories, Yul.” replied Minjoo after Yuri finally stopped talking. The younger woman looked offended at her response, pouting hard at her. With a sigh, she just turned her back from them. “I’ll go first, I still have class. See you guys around.” She excused herself, walking to the door already.

 

Before she exited the leisure room in the university (perks of being friends with the daughters of the owner and chairman of the school itself), she heard Yuri’s loud voice again. “Hitomi! You said before that you want to time travel too. Help me persuade these two! I just know they know how to make it!”

 

With another huff, Minjoo finally closed the door of the room — the loud voices turned muffled, and relief washed over her. It was too noisy there. She loved her friends so much but they were too noisy. Even if they were all friends since childhood, sometimes — the noises, especially an excited Yuri — made her drain as hell.

 

Smiling to herself, Minjoo took a deep breath before walking back to her class.

 

Time travelling topic instantly vanished in her mind after she stepped out of that room.

 

***

 

Minjoo just found herself browsing through the never-ending aisle of the university’s library — trying to find something particular. She was very focused as she skimmed, lightly gliding her fingers to the dusty, rough edges of different kinds of books.

 

As she browsed with a small frown on her face, she couldn’t help but to snicker mentally. She didn’t like the assignment their History professor gave to them, at all.

 

“And now, for your assignment: search up a person’s journal or diary. It doesn’t matter if it’s from the internet or books or if the person isn’t that known. Our library has tons of them, you guys can find some there since a lot of people donate their journals or their passed loved ones’ for educational purposes.”

 

Just when Minjoo heard it from her professor, the hair on her skin literally stood up. She shivered. Because the thing he wanted for them to seek was a dead person’s journal or diary — that felt invading someone’s privacy already. She didn’t know but she was slightly disturbed but it was an assignment; she couldn’t do anything but to comply.

 

She actually found some but they were all torn and couldn’t properly be read, like it was not well taken care of while the others were just plain crap so she tried to search for a better journal.

 

After a few minutes of searching, she finally spotted another journal. The journal was still in a good condition — the skin was leather and black; already peeling off from the base but didn’t look dainty. It wasn’t too thick, just the right amount of pages and the size was just of an average notebook. There was a faded word of ‘journal’ painted in white at the top. All in all, it still looked pretty good, and if Minjoo was right, it might be at least ten years old already.

 

Curious, she took off the tie, and opened it; she was greeted by a yellow-ish, crispy page. She caressed the paper that went crisp and faded because of oldness, feeling its rough texture beneath her fingertips. There were some left-over dusts too, sticking on her fingers lightly. Minjoo wiped her fingers on her pants then finally read the texts written on the first page.

 

Yujin Ahn

 

“Yujin Ahn…” Minjoo murmured to herself as her eyes followed the neat handwriting. Hmm, must be the owner’s name. It was pretty, she thought. And after rereading it a couple of times, she finally flipped the page — she then finally realized it was the first entry. It wasn’t too long. This person’s handwriting was pretty pleasing to the eyes and Minjoo’s lips parted when she saw that it was a mix of Hangul and English.

 

Thankfully enough, Minjoo was fluent in English so she did not have any problem at all, she could understand the words properly. With an impressed smile and curious eyes, she hovered on top of the page — almost dropping the journal out of shock. On the top left part of the page, written: First Entry : January 03, 1964.

 

Minjoo almost choked when she saw the date. She did a quick math, and wow, fifty seven years!? This diary was more than fifty seven years old? Now, this must be a hidden treasure! This explained how old the journal looked, and its crusty yellow-ish pages. Minjoo must treat it with utmost care.

 

Driven by excitement, Minjoo decided to read the first entry of this person’s journal silently at the corner of the shelf, leaning her shoulder against the wood — her eyes followed the words carefully.

 

First Entry : January 03, 1964

 

Ah, I decided to finally buy a journal where I can write my thoughts and all. Coincidentally, new years just passed so I guess it’s the best time to start a journal.

 

Hmm, what should I write next? Hehe, this time, I’m just writing what I’m thinking but whatever — this is my journal afterall.

 

Aha! I finally thought of what to write. Well, I’m practicing for our play… I got the second leading lady role position and I’m not even upset! I’ve already got enough lines. Goodness, good luck to my co-actress!

 

I’m pretty nervous, I guess. I will perform on a bigger stage soon.

 

Oh, also, I broke our telephone last night. Damn, I was going to use that money to buy the camera I want — I just can’t afford to ask mom for more money because our business is pretty low these days…

 

Well, I guess that’s it? I have nothing to say anymore. Hmm, well, maybe I do. I hope mom will finally acknowledge that I really want to be a musician rather than a broadway actress… Sigh. I really want to play guitar and sing in front of the crowd, not act and perform…

 

Minjoo blinked, she had finally finished reading the first entry of the journal. In the entry, she concluded that Yujin was a girl because she said that she got the ‘second leading lady’ role for the said play. And funnily enough, she was a theater actress like Minjoo? Well, she was not yet officially or professionally a theater actress but it was the same! They acted in theater plays, and she couldn’t help but to smile when the person wrote that she was nervous since she would perform on a bigger stage. A feeling that Minjoo could relate very well to.

 

“I guess this journal is really destined for me to find.” whispered Minjoo to herself with a smile, her eyes still skimming through the words until the end repeatedly. Her heart softened at the last part, it looked like this woman just got forced to take the career of being an theater actress because it was clearly stated here that Yujin was hoping to be a musician…

 

This was rather devastating; her story made Minjoo even curious. If she was going to guess, Ahn Yujin must be in her early twenties. Definitely a young lady judging how she wrote the words and how she described things.

 

With that, Minjoo closed the journal, and rushed over to the counter. She was definitely going to take Ahn Yujin’s journal home and read it. Maybe, she would find something interesting. What she wrote was already interesting: a woman in the 1960’s and her dream to be a musician. There might be hidden gems in the entries.

 

She was excited to read.

 

When Minjoo got home — she immediately kicked her shoes off, threw her bag carelessly on her bed as she went to her study table. She gently placed the old journal on top of her desk as she plopped herself down to her seat. Fortunately, there was no other homeworks to work with so she could read in peace. And surprisingly, her friends were oddly quiet today — they must be busy with their own things too.

 

After a few hours, Minjoo was so into reading and analyzing that she didn’t even realize that it was past her bedtime and even though the entries were not that long and the pages weren’t that a lot — it took her a while, still, to read. She reached half of the journal but wasn’t still satisfied; instead, more intrigued by every entry that she had read. She really took her time reading because the contents were so important and there were times that she would sometimes comment to herself because the events written in the entries were either infuriating, heartwarming, or saddening.

 

It really felt like she was reading a book. But way better. Who would know that reading someone who must be probably dead now was entertaining and interesting?

 

Soon enough, she didn’t even realize that she had already fallen asleep while reading the journal. She drifted into dreamland while the journal rested on top of her chest, wide open.

 

The following morning, Minjoo ate her breakfast while reading the entries of Yujin’s journal. She went to her class while reading them, and whenever she was free, she would whip the old journal out to read the remaining entries in full interest. Yuri kept asking her what she was reading but Minjoo was too focused; either frowning at the words or smiling.

 

She finished reading them all when night fell. And she learned and realized a lot throughout reading the journal, as if she witnessed someone’s life story from the past even though it was just short.

 

Minjoo learned that Yujin was just about to turn nineteen years old on September 1st of 1964 since she mentioned that she was excited for that date to come since it was her nineteenth birthday and her mom might finally let her drive a car and buy her one. So, she was born in 1945.

 

She also learned that the owner of the journal was living in New York but pure Korean. She only managed to visit the country a couple of times throughout her entire life but she had always thought that writing in Hangul felt comfortable since she rarely spoke with someone in Korean except with her mother and cousin.

 

Minjoo just gained a lot of knowledge about Yujin’s life and just Yujin in particular: like her favorite Korean food was tteokbokki, her dream even way before was to be a musician, her favorite band was The Beatles like Yuri and she would really do anything if it meant that she would see them performing live and that they were her inspiration to fight for her passion in music, and she wanted to adopt a dog. Stuff like that, and not just the positive facts.

 

Minjoo also learned that Yujin was suffering a lot from pressure and was kind of depressed because of how people treat women and foreigners like her. It took her hell to reach such an achievement of performing on stage. She was sick of the racism and misogyny.

 

Yujin tried to form a band like The Beatles but all girls version — countless of times because she really wanted to be a musician but always failed. Unfortunately, people in that time really belittled women’s capabilities in such a ‘unfeminine’ field.

 

There were times that Minjoo’s heart ached for Yujin’s experience and thoughts. The theater arts student was really sad because this poor, precious woman experienced those ty things in life. Minjoo was quite aware how life was in the past — men were always the superior ones. That gender inequality still annoyed Minjoo, fortunately enough, women these days were strong and independent.

 

She also pitied Yujin because the latter thought small of herself since she was the ‘black sheep’ of the family. She was the only girl, and two brothers. Her family had a lot of expectations of her but it felt like Yujin’s efforts weren’t enough. Minjoo could feel how sad Yujin was as she wrote the words in one of her entries: “My family won’t even bat an eye to my achievements in the theatre field, the path they want me to be on, even though I almost lost myself in the process of trying to climb up to get a nice role for one play”.

 

There was really a burning hatred for them. Minjoo really hoped that the people who made Yujin’s life a living hell were finally burning in the very depths of hell at the very moment.

 

Also, a lot of entries really made an impact on her, like her seventh entry talking about how her friends cheered her up and jammed along when she played the guitar and sang. That just showed how Yujin wanted to be a musician and that was the thing that made her genuinely happy. Minjoo couldn’t even suppress her smile as she read the said entry.

 

Seventh Entry : February 13, 1964

 

I’m so, so happy today! As I wrote this, I’m still smiling and my cheeks already hurt! So, my friend brought his guitar earlier at the practice and I was so amazed. I mustered enough courage to ask if I could borrow and play it and he said yes then handed me the guitar casually.

 

So, I played! Passionately! I did not even realize that people were watching me intently as they sang along because I was so into it! They all praised me sincerely after I played and sang a bit. I kept blushing throughout. I’m just genuinely happy. Especially when my friend, Rose said to me that I should be a musician instead because my singing voice is for that kind of genre, not theater. Oh, Rose, I wanted to kiss her that moment!

 

No one knows that my heart is really for music, and not for theater. I just hope that someday, I can walk on the path I want, and not the one that someone chose for me.

 

I want to make music. I desire to create music.

 

And Yujin was a smart, open-minded woman. She was very supportive of homouality too. In that certain entry, the woman mentioned that she came across gay people in the theater and were treated badly but they were not fazed, remaining strong. She said that she really looked up to them, and noted that she should be brave too — that was when Minjoo had a hunch that maybe, just maybe, Yujin must be a closeted lesbian or biual since she wrote about getting attracted to a man and some women she met at one of her plays.

 

It was really interesting, but Minjoo knew how hard it was to be out in the past so she was just slightly happy that Yujin was a good hearted person. Minjoo would never forget this certain entry in Yujin’s journal. It just spoke about what she was like.

 

Twenty-first Entry : March 29, 1964

 

Today is an intriguing day. In our rehearsals, there were these gay couple acting like lovey-dovey, later on I learned that they were one of the most important people of the event — a lot of my co-stars were disgusted, some even threw slurs and unpleasant words to the cute couple, I was so pissed but surprisingly, the gay couple confronted them!

 

They were so angry and told them that they would fire them all after introducing themselves. My homophobic co-stars were so embarassed and scared while I just laughed silently in the corner. That’s what they deserve! Ugh, why do people have to be so cruel? Geez. People are really annoying, especially entitled men…

 

Anyway, I want to be brave like this couple... They look so cute and normal!

 

It’s still love, why are people so harsh?

 

Minjoo just admired this woman so much. By just reading her journal, Yujin earned Minjoo’s respect just like that. Although, it felt like Minjoo had invaded the journal’s owner’s privacy — it felt like an adventure since nothing was pretty explicit anyway. Everything was written so nicely.

 

The woman followed Yujin’s life through the journal, and she noticed the subtle changes. Along the way, Yujin slowly loved theater, almost equally as her passion for music. She started to write that she was enjoying performing in plays, especially that people don’t think little of her anymore — and her mom was slowly getting proud of her.

 

She was finally getting the love she deserved too.

 

However, the entry ended on September 1, 1964. Exactly Yujin’s birthday, and the day she performed in a play — her biggest one yet. And she was expected to receive an award too but unfortunately, the rest of the journal’s pages went blank after that. She wrote in her journal first before she went to perform the said play, and listed the gifts she had received throughout the morning to afternoon, expecting more later on that night.

 

Maybe Yujin forgot and decided not to write anymore? But she was always looking forward to writing down her thoughts in her journal. Decided to write in another journal? But the blank pages…

 

With that, eaten whole by curiosity — Minjoo decided to search up Yujin’s name on the internet. Maybe there would be a little information since Yujin got recognized in her field already.

 

And that was when Minjoo learned that truth.

 

Fortunately, there was a little information about Yujin on the internet. There was even a blurry, black and white picture of the said woman, she was with one of the most legendary theater actors. She was young, she had long hair, her eyes were firm but mesmerizing despite being colorless, a proud nose, and plump lips. And oh, she had dimples too! She was a pretty woman. That was for sure.

 

She couldn’t even help but to stare. Thinking, oh so this pretty woman from the 60’s was the owner of this journal. Who could’ve thought?

 

But when she excitedly read the little fact about the young theater actress, Minjoo spotted something that made her smile fade.

 

Birthday: September 1, 1945

Died: September 1, 1964

 

The rising young musical theatre actress from New York who had a lot of potential unfortunately faced her demise on her own birthday. The woman got hit by a truck driven by a drunk man who was later on revealed to be her biological father that caused her pitiful death. She was expecting to receive an award from the famous and important people in the theater arts that night too, which made everything more heartbreaking.

 

If the young talent didn’t just ascend to heaven early then she might be one of the most legendary musical actresses today.

 

So that was the reason why she didn’t continue writing the journal anymore, she died. She had an unfortunate early death. And it made Minjoo sad even more, there was this painful clench in her heart. When Yujin was just getting the love and attention she deserved, she died just like that? Goodness, the woman just turned nineteen too!

 

There was just a lot of potential, Yujin could be one of the greatest musicians or musical actresses now! This was totally unacceptable. Minjoo couldn’t accept that Yujin faced such harsh fate like that. She didn’t even get enough love, and she suffered so much! When she was about to receive the good things, she died…

 

Now, now — that was too unfair.

 

If Minjoo could just travel back in time and give Yujin the love and support she deserved and needed…

 

Wait… travel back in time. That was it!

 

Without even thinking twice, Minjoo rushed to the leisure room where her friends stayed — barging in while panting heavily. Everyone in the room was surprised at her sudden appearance; she looked like a mess and desperate. Even the siblings who were always focused on typing codes for their experiments were looking at her, confused and worried.

 

Closing the door, Minjoo walked towards Chaewon and Chaeyeon with a desperate yet determined expression while she was holding Yujin’s journal in her right hand. The siblings looked at her, expecting for her to say something. Minjoo ignored the worried looks from the others, taking a deep breath as she composed herself.

 

“Time travelling,” started Minjoo seriously, and she noticed how the siblings perked, their eyes glimmered. “Time machine… I know you two know how to make it. Let’s travel to the past.” She added with a tone of finality.

 

Everyone went silent, Yuri and Hitomi glanced at each other, a little bit shocked at the sudden change of Minjoo’s mind when she was opposed to the idea of time travelling and didn’t believe it at all. But they kept silent, watching the scene unfold before them.

 

Chaeyeon and Chaewon looked at each other, exchanging smiles before turning to Minjoo again; the geniuses looked amused but the answer was clear on their faces.

 

“Why? I thought you don’t believe in time travelling?” Chaeyeon asked, a meaningful yet teasing smile playing on her lips.

 

Minjoo narrowed her eyes. Ahh, of course, these siblings could be mischievous sometimes but they would know anyway. She was bound to tell Yujin’s story to them and what pushed her to travel back in time.

 

She couldn’t believe she had grown attached to a woman who was long gone in this world, and that was because of her journal — where she learned a lot about her. And she couldn’t believe she would willingly time travel just to give that woman the love she deserved before she dies.

 

Without a word, Minjoo handed Chaeyeon the journal. The woman took it gingerly, curious, and a little confused but checked it out nevertheless. Chaewon scooted closer, peeking from Chaeyeon’s shoulders. Their intelligent eyes skimmed through the journal, it didn’t even take long for them to realize what Minjoo had wanted.

 

Chaewon, with a smile, looked up at Minjoo who was eyeing them silently. “You want to meet this person?” asked the woman, staring at her. And Minjoo nodded eagerly. She hummed, leaning back to the swivel chair. “And why?”

 

The older, Chaeyeon — was already fiddling on her computer and in a second, she already got something, looking at Minjoo with a frown. “Minjoo… this Yujin girl. She died.” simply muttered Chaeyeon.

 

Minjoo smiled at them, shaking her head. “I won’t go there to save her. I know it might change some events in the present, the events that shouldn’t happen, and mess up the timeline… I just want to meet her. She was amazing, Chaeyeon-ah, Chaewon-ah.” She explained her side. Her voice was pleading.

 

Minjoo knew the idea itself was absurd but she was willing to try and take a risk. One might call her mad but that would be fine, if it meant she would see Yujin in the flesh and try her best to make her life less painful and sad.

 

The siblings were silent for a few moments before Chaeyeon heaved a sigh, shaking her head a bit with an amused smile. She then looked up at Minjoo, glancing at their other friends who were quietly watching on the couch then to the theater arts student again. She fixed her glasses, pushing it lightly further to the bridge of her nose and spoke.

 

“It’s dangerous. So dangerous, Minjoo.”

 

“Let’s take the risk then.”

 

Chaeyeon blinked, giving a defeated sigh. She looked at Chaewon once again, silently communicating. The siblings knew that Minjoo was always a determined person, no matter how hard or dangerous it was — she wouldn’t stop until she was satisfied.

 

In the end, they decided to concede. With a smile, they turned to look at Minjoo again.

 

“Yes. We know how to make a time machine, and time travelling is possible. We’ve already done some tests before but didn’t push further experimentation because we lost motivation. However, it’s pretty much successful, we just need to run a few experiments and observations before we’re the ones who will travel back in time. So it would be less risky and dangerous.” explained Chaeyeon, and that made Minjoo’s heart flip in happiness but before she could react — Yuri squealed, rushing towards him while wearing a grin.

 

The engineering student was delighted to hear that too since she was the first one who tried to persuade the siblings first about time travelling but failed. However, it looked like these two finally decided that it would be alright now after Minjoo’s desperation.

 

“Oh my god? The Beatles concert, let’s go!” Yuri yelled happily, hopping like an excited bunny, she was practically trembling in excitement.

 

Chaewon laughed, shaking her head before continuing typing on her keyboard while facing the dual monitor. “Give us a few months to prepare everything and we’re good to go. I’m already contacting Yeji and Jisu for assistance.” informed the younger Chae sibling, and Yuri squealed again, walking back to her seat and started to blabber how excited she was to Hitomi while Hyewon was lost in deep thought, fiddling on her rubik’s cube.

 

Minjoo was already grinning happily at them, well, perks of having geniuses, supportive friends! It would be really life fulfilling to meet a wonderful woman like Yujin, and also someone who was from the past life? Unearthly delightful. They could literally meet Einstein or Tesla but they would literally time travel to meet a woman from the 60’s but hey, it was pretty reasonable.

 

“But before we discuss time travelling further,” Chaeyeon said, raising her index finger then shifted it, pointing at the journal with an arched brow. “Minjoo, let’s talk about Yujin Ahn and why are you suddenly willing to believe in time travel just to meet her?”

 

Oh, it would be a long story…

 

***

 

Months passed by quickly within a blink.

 

Throughout the whole months of preparation every one of them had their own part as they juggled with school work. Since they would be travelling in the past and stay in that timeline for a long time — it meant they would be missing in the present too. One day in the past meant one day in the present too, and they’ve been planning to roam around the past generation for months since the siblings decided to have a vacation and do some research there which wasn’t a problem to the others since they were equally hyped and excited to exist in a year they were not even conceived yet. Heck, their parents weren’t still alive yet.

 

Chaeyeon and Chaewon created and prepared the time travelling machine and their needs once they landed on that timeline. Hitomi made some medicines and pills that their body needed to survive in that year (science, Hitomi simply answered when Yuri asked why), Hyewon was in charge of doing fake documents since they needed places to stay too and proofs that they were actual citizens and not time travellers, Yuri helped making the transportation ‘vehicle’ that they would use while Minjoo — she gathered some useful information that might save their asses in the past, also gathering resources and necessities for their journey.

 

They decided to travel back in time; February 9, 1964, the exact date — they waited until February, and it was enough time for them to finally prepare all they needed and already made plans since they would be leaving the present for a long time. School wasn’t a problem since the Chae-siblings’ dad was the chairman, and he was fond of them. He was also a genius scientist so when they talked about travelling back in time, he was delighted and helped them fix some things.

 

Why February 9, 1964, one might ask? Well, it was the date where The Beatles would perform in the Ed Sullivan Show. And Yujin would attend and witness the legendary band’s performance. Her experience was happily written in the journal that was why Minjoo had an idea where to find her. It felt like hitting two birds with one stone because Yuri would finally watch The Beatles live.

 

Fifth Entry : February 9, 1964

 

I’m still shaking and screaming as I write this. I just came from Studio 50 and watched The Beatles LIVE! My dream was fulfilled! Thank God my mom has a lot of connections and she let me watch. The whole studio was rumbling as The Beatles performed. My ears are still ringing because of the never-ending shouts! I’m so, so happy! I saw my favorite band performing live! I’ve never been this inspired before. They looked like gods!

 

I really hope one day I’ll be able to shake hands with them. That would be a huge honor!

 

Paul is so handsome~

 

This fangirl managed to see her idols personally and watched their performance. And Minjoo was so happy for her as she read that certain entry in her journal.

 

So, on the way to the laboratory of the Chae-siblings — Minjoo was skipping her way, excited. She had just finished packing the things they would bring. They were about to travel time later, and she was nervous yet at the same time excited. Hyewon had already informed them that the files they would need so they could enter Studio 50 had been done also after doing a major and deep research so, they were all set. They just needed to prepare themselves. Yuri couldn’t even stop talking about it in their group chat last night.

 

Soon, Minjoo had finally reached the lab and took a deep breath, she slowly opened the automatic metal door by fingerprint identification — the machine accepted her, and the door opened automatically. Minjoo stepped inside the huge laboratory, and two words entered her mind when she roamed her gaze around: pure disaster.

 

A bunch of tangled wires, flickering light bulbs, magnets, rat traps, and so many more greeted her once she entered. All scattered in every corner of the room. She wasn’t even noticed by the others because they were too busy doing their own businesses but it looked like she was the one left only.

 

Yuri was inspecting a huge metalike box that could fit a lot of people, it was on the platform. Hitomi was packing a lot of medicine boxes in the bags. Hyewon was also fixing tons of papers, putting them in envelopes. While the four: Chaewon, Chaeyeon, Yeji, and Jisu — were typing all the way in front of huge screen monitors that were showing different kinds of sci-fi s that Minjoo couldn’t even understand and would never try to understand. She let them be, walking to the metal-like box, must be the ‘vehicle’ they would use to travel through time or whatever that was.

 

She stepped into the platform, a rough ‘thud’ was heard. Yuri turned to her, giving her a bright smile, silently watching her inspect the box. Minjoo lifted a fist, gently knocking on the metal.

 

“It’s made of alloy,” Yuri proudly said, and added, “It will help us not get absorbed by the blackhole once we’re set to go.” Minjoo blinked, just nodding along, not really interested to know how everything was possible because of unearthly science because her brain couldn’t handle such information.

 

“Okay, we’re all set. I’ve already checked everything, and it’s all good. Please hand us y’alls phones, Jisu will insert a small GPS chip. Yes, we will bring our phones for emergency purposes and it will make us a little bit connected to the present, but remember, never let it be seen to other people of the past.” Chaeyeon said, gesturing for them to approach Jisu to get their phones chipped. They all went there, placing their phones on top of the holographic table while Jisu expertly disassembled the phones, putting a GPS chip in them.

 

And as she did that, Chaewon spoke the rules of the universe and timeline — time travelling could mess up a lot of events in the very present or even future if they weren’t careful. They shouldn’t do anything rash and stay hidden in the shadows no matter what because they couldn’t afford to destroy the sequence of the happening and events from the past because after all, it already happened — the six of them would just witness it, they did not have any right to change anything.

 

She also explained everything they needed to know to avoid troubles in the future (or… in the past), and once they were all set, she gave each of them a small remote that had a switch and a button on it that they could use for emergency and call the others if they were in danger or something.

 

Then, Yeji handed each one of them a suit and helmet. It looked like a typical sauna suit but revealed that it was made of alloy also then the helmet for head protection. Once they were done dressing up, they were all laughing at each other — taking photos all together for memories because they looked like weird low budget astronauts.

 

Hitomi then gave them pills, saying that they should consume it before stepping inside the craft. Without even asking why, they all just took it. The pill would surely help their body ‘cope’ in the past.

 

Then for finalization, they brought the things they needed to the ‘vehicle’ and with that, they had one last group hug before they all went inside back to the alloy made craft. They sat on the provided seats, and everyone was equally nervous yet excited. They trusted the siblings so much, they never faltered in these kinds of things — they never made mistakes, everything was well calculated and accurate after tons of experiments and observations.

 

Yeji and Jisu waved at them before walking back to the gigantic monitors. They were the ones who would send them back in time, and monitor their condition from the present.

 

Minjoo sat there, eyes closed as she prayed. Hoping that it would be successful. Soon enough, Minjoo would meet Yujin — the owner of that journal and caught her interest and piqued her curiosity.

 

“Ready? Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a tough ride.” Chaeyeon warned as she wore her helmet.

 

Yuri snorted, placing her helmet into her head. “Anything for The Beatles.”

 

They buckled their extra tight seatbelts, and soon enough, they heard Yeji’s signal from the intercom of the craft. A few seconds after that, even though Minjoo was already having her eyes closed — her whole vision went bright. She clenched her fists when she felt the craft start to shake violently.

 

Chaeyeon and Chaewon kept giving out some warning in a strangled voice, they were also having a hard time, talking about how they were about to enter the ‘wormhole’. Minjoo couldn’t even hear them as her ears started to ring painfully, and her stomach started to churn upside down while her soul felt like it was ascending out from her body.

 

Minjoo wanted to scream, her body felt like it was being pulled and stretched to the very brim — circling, and rapidly moving in every direction. It was pure hell but she needed to brave herself.

 

And after what it felt like an eternity, everything came into stop. Minjoo gasped, in a breath as a wave of nausea hit her. She could feel the trembling of her own body but the violent shaking of the craft stopped, there was silence. So, slowly, Minjoo opened her eyes, and realized that they were all still in the craft and they were all equally shaken up and fortunately — all safe and still in one piece.

 

Yeji’s voice then intensified around the silent alloy craft that made them jolt up in shock. “Success. You guys managed to travel back in time. Exactly, February 9 of 1964. It’s currently 6:23am there like in the present, you guys are already there for a minute or so. Exact location is at the very end of Manhattan, in the middle of a farm owned by an old couple. Are you guys good?”

 

Chaewon let out a shaky sigh. “Y-Yeah, we’re good. Nice to know we’ve succeeded,” She answered to Yeji, and the latter bid goodbye, and wished them good luck to their journey, reminding them to call her if she was needed as she already checked the communication signal — all well. The younger Chae turned to the others who were slumped in their seats, dizzy or exhausted after that. “Are you guys alright?” asked the woman, taking off her helmet.

 

Hyewon grumbled something under her breath before saying, “, I feel like vomitting.” She cursed, also shakily taking her helmet away, she was wearing a frown and she was pale.

 

“Okay, we need to get out of here as soon as possible. We just appeared in the middle of the farm.” Chaeyeon said, unbuckling her seatbelt.

 

Minjoo tried her best to move even though she felt so weak and limp, she badly wanted to throw up but fought the urge. She took off her helmet, and fumbled over her seatbelt — when she stood up, she almost stumbled forward, using the seat in front of her as a support because her vision went black for a second then started to turn. She had to close and calm herself down for a whole minute before her sight finally went back to normal but the lightness of her head remained.

 

Everyone took off their suits, and Hitomi checked them if they have internal injuries or something with a device that the Chae-siblings invented before for Hitomi to have an easier access to this medical stuff relating to the insides of their bodies. Fortunately, none of them got injured and they were perfectly normal from the inside out.

 

They hurried out of the craft after gathering the things they needed, and they were greeted by tall crops and it was a sunny day — although a little bit chilly because it was still nearing the end of winter.

 

Everyone was pretty amazed even though the scenery wasn’t out of normal. They were just trying to sink in that they literally came from the future, and now, they were in the past. Minjoo was slightly dumbfounded, time travelling was possible, indeed. She couldn’t fully process that she was currently in 1964.

 

While the others were trying to sink the information in their heads — Chaeyeon went to the side of the craft, opening a cover, there was a mini keyboard attached at the side and started to type. Meanwhile, Chaewon kneeled at the other end, digging into the soil with a small shovel then planted something before covering it back with the same soil she dug.

 

Minjoo flinched when the craft suddenly started to glitch. She watched the alloy box shrink slowly until it wasn’t visible in their eyes anymore, as if it went microscopic. Chaeyeon then bent her knees, picking something on the ground, opening a small ring box before placing her fingers on it — as if she was putting something inside the box. Minjoo realized it must be the craft that shrunk.

 

Why was Minjoo suddenly terrified at what she witnessed anyway? She was literally living in a sci-fi film because of her genius friends.

 

“Ah, that’s it. We should go to the streets of New York now. We still need to avail apartments for us.” Chaeyeon said, and whipped out her phone, checking something before tucking it securely in her coat. She eyed her friends who were already wearing outfits that were from the 60’s, and she was satisfied. “We just look like a group of travelling friends, not a group of time travelling friends. Let’s go and catch a bus.”

 

With that, they sneakily went out of the farm — and thanks to the map they prepared, they managed to get into the main road and spotted a bus waiting shed. The six of them huddled under the shed, waiting for a bus to pass by, and as they did that, they kept observing and admiring.

 

Two cars passed by and all of them gasped because the cars weren’t modern, they were the ‘vintage’ cars of the present but it was still normal to see a lot of them here. They excitedly watched the vintage cars pass by the road. Minjoo even bought a camera with her, snapping photos but it was like the modern camera — however, customized to look like the normal cameras from the past to avoid suspicions if she was using it in public.

 

Soon, a huge vehicle resembling a bus appeared, stopping at the shed. The six were in awe because the bus wasn’t that big and slick like those normal buses in the modern time — this bus was slightly smaller and old fashioned, the windows were open and not air-conditioned.

 

The door opened and the bus driver looked at them, he was nibbling on a toothpick, looking at the group of girls who were gaping at his bus. He raised a brow, “Are you guys going to ride or what?”

 

It was the slap that they were really in the 1960’s now.

 

“A-Ah, yes, we’re going to ride. Hold on.” Chaeyeon answered in fluent English before signalling to her friends to enter the bus already, and the six of them excitedly scrambled inside while the second oldest among them paid for their fare — even giving a tip to the bus driver, apologizing on behalf of her excited friends. The bus driver was delighted because of the extra money, waving them off.

 

There weren’t the only people on the bus, there were three more. A young couple, and an old woman. They were wearing the usual outfits of the people from the 60’s, very old and vintage but it was normal for them. They should really get used to the sight of the unusual old fashion. It was the trend in this kind of time.

 

As they went to the busy streets of New York, they kept admiring the scenery, trying not to look dumbfounded as they saw the vintage things that weren’t really popular or known in the modern time anymore.

 

They all got out of the bus, the six of them just stood there by the busy streets, gaping at the people and vehicles. Instead of holding their phones, the people here were holding newspapers — telephone booths were scattered everywhere. The buildings weren’t still that high, and everything looked old. It felt dumbfounding because of these sceneries, they only saw it on the internet and it was pretty much faded and black & white but now — they were seeing everything in person. There were no big television screens where advertisements could be shown, instead they were big tarpaulins and signboards.

 

Everything was overwhelming but they couldn’t falter. They immediately went to the apartment building that they decided to stay in. The four of them stayed on the side while Hyewon and Chaewon talked to the information office to avail some rooms.

 

Minjoo chewed on her lower lip, looking around carefully, trying to spot a familiar face. She was being cautious and nervous because a certain someone might appear and she wasn’t ready at all.

 

If one must be curious, they were about to stay in the same apartment building where Yujin lived. Yes, before they went there, they also did intensive research about Yujin and her background. Even though she wasn’t popular, they still got some basic information about her — it felt like they were spies but it was a need. They decided to stay in the same apartment building where Yujin was living with her older cousin, Kwon Eunbi. The place was pretty cozy and nice too anyway, peaceful and near the main street. It was convenient.

 

Soon enough, they finally managed to settle with the manager. They also requested if they could move in now because they didn’t have any places to stay and he gladly accepted (with an extra bribe of money) — there was a nearby department store anyway where they could buy their furniture and beds.

 

The building was very cozy, and didn’t look old, sure — in modern time’s standard, it was but it looked pretty new. The apartment building was also pricey but money didn’t matter since they got a lot of them; they even bought some jewels and small pieces of gold they could trade for the currency that time.

 

They availed two rooms in total, three of them would live in each. They already paid enough for three months. In the contract, they used fake names and all; it wouldn’t do much damage in the timeline anyway since it was just simple apartment units. The handlers wouldn’t bat an eye once they suddenly disappeared without a trace since they got the money anyway.

 

After an hour, it was all finally settled — they dropped their bags in their rooms and went to the department store to buy some beds and other things they needed to make the apartment a lot livelier, they would live there for months anyway.

 

While in the mall, they were struck. They tried their best to be a lot composed and normal as they shopped to buy their needs. They also happily bought a few clothes. It took a while for everything to be fully paid and they made the store deliver their furniture to their apartment, hiring some people to arrange them too because they didn’t have the time and strength to do it — they needed to prepare for later too.

 

After eating their lunch in the afternoon, they immediately went to Studio 50, which was crowded by the fans of The Beatles. Yuri couldn’t stop shaking in excitement while Minjoo trembled in nervousness.

 

They had an easy access when Chaeyeon showed the proof that they were invited to witness the performance of the band to the staff member — they were led onto the venue after that, away from the crazy fans.

 

“Geez, there are just a lot of people. The Beatles’ popularity couldn’t be topped.” Hitomi said as they walked through the hallway that would lead them to the exact location of where the performance and filming would happen.

 

When they entered the place, it was also packed, and almost all of the seats were already taken. They decided to separate and find a vacant seat, and after the show, they would meet outside the lobby. They have communications anyway so they shouldn’t be afraid to part.

 

Yuri excitedly ran to the very front, trying to find a vacant spot there. While the others individually dispersed in different directions. Minjoo just shrugged, walking to the upper row that would offer her a great view of the performance but not too up close to the stage either. This would give her a nice view of the crowd too, she purposely went to the upper part so she would be able to browse through the faces of these people and try to spot a certain someone.

 

She easily found a seat, and sat silently, quietly observing the place and people. Some people were eyeing her, Minjoo ignored them as she fiddled with her watch. The show would start soon now, she did not even move to look up when a staff member announced that the show was about to begin. She flinched a bit when people started to cheer because of the announcement, however, a loud shout coming from her row caught her attention.

 

“Yes! Show us The Beatles now! Whoo~!”

 

It was a woman, and she was probably getting weird glances now because the show wasn’t even starting yet she was already getting mad. Minjoo saw that some people shook their heads at the unlady-like manner the woman had shown. So, out of curiosity and slight annoyance, she turned her head and realized that they were just one seat apart, no wonder her eardrums almost broke.

 

The woman who kept screaming excitedly from her seat was pretty tall; wearing a checkered beret partnered by a matching trench coat; she was wearing a white plain shirt tucked in her trousers. But Minjoo froze when she stared quite long because this woman — she hit familiarity, as if Minjoo had seen her before.

 

Those firm yet gentle mesmerizing eyes that were turned into crescents because of how happy she was to see the band, proud nose, plump lips that were showing a set of pearly white teeth, her long black hair was tied up into a low ponytail and the most noticeable feature among them all; her deep dimples that kept poking out to show that she was beyond happy to exist in that very moment.

 

Minjoo’s lips parted in shock. This woman, who was sitting one seat apart from her — it was definitely Ahn Yujin. The owner of the journal, the sole reason why Minjoo wanted to travel back in time.

 

As expected, those flimsy faded and colorless photos did not give her justice at all but thanks to them, she managed to recognize Yujin in one look. Minjoo stared at Yujin’s photos for god damn how long so she could recognize her in an instant. It really became handy because Minjoo memorized every feature of Yujin’s face and now, she was able to find her easily.

 

Luck was on her side! She didn’t need to look around to spot Yujin in the hysterical crowd.

 

Her heart started to beat rapidly as anxiousness suddenly bubbled within her. She immediately looked away from that direction when she felt that Yujin was about to turn to her — she hid her face using her beige hair, acting nonchalant and cool. She was nervous as hell, suddenly — her plans on how to approach Yujin went down into the drain.

 

She couldn’t believe she really met the owner of that journal! Damn, this better not be a dream.

 

Taking a deep breath, Minjoo tried to take subtle glances from her side — Yujin was not shouting anymore, just patiently waiting on her seat but still grinning happily at herself, dimples still showing proud.

 

Warmth spread through Minjoo’s cheeks when she realized that she was staring too long because the man beside her turned to her, sensing the look, and gave her an annoyed stare.

 

Finally, the show had begun, and the Beatles appeared on the stage, waving at the fans. Every person in the venue started to scream, especially the women, all hysterical and shouting their lungs out that Minjoo had to cover her ears, hissing to herself. But wow, Minjoo was amazed.

 

The Beatles had a very noticeable stage presence and like Yujin had written, they were like gods in this very place. No wonder Yuri and Yujin were huge fans of them. Sure, Minjoo was aware of this band’s popularity even in the modern time but wow, she was stunned.

 

Especially when they started to perform, Yujin was really going mad in her seat. The man between them was getting annoyed already, giving Yujin a glare. Minjoo kept flinching because Yujin’s screams really stood out. Damn, this woman would go home with a sore throat!

 

“Hey, can you tone it down? Your throat will hurt,” Minjoo absentmindedly yelled out of concern, and unfortunately, she said it in full Korean.

 

The American man beside her heard it, looking at her with wide eyes, fuming. Well, he must be xenophobic because he was giving Minjoo a dirty glare when she spoke in a language he couldn’t understand but she didn’t care for him because Yujin definitely heard it from her seat despite the loud shouts. She visibly froze on her seat, turning to Minjoo’s direction.

 

And their eyes met for the first time. Minjoo’s breath hitched. So, Yujin’s eye color was dark chocolate… her orbs were sparkly and it felt like they held the entire galaxy.

 

Because Yujin was finally looking at her and their gazes were connected, it offered her a full view of her entire face. And Minjoo was even more struck, she was dumbfounded because this woman was such a beauty. In one look, one could tell that she wasn’t American but an Asian — her visual was really fit to be an idol or actress in the modern time. If this woman existed in modern South Korea, entertainment agencies would definitely beg on their knees for her to join their company.

 

“Are you Korean?” asked Yujin in Korean, amazed. And Minjoo’s heart fluttered because of the way she spoke the words fluently in their native language. It was so smooth and natural, as if she lived in Korea for her whole life when in fact, she just visited for a few times there and lived her life in New York. She knew how the formality of the words were used too.

 

Minjoo gulped, now, this wasn’t supposed to happen. She wasn’t ready to interact with her yet. But it would be too rude of her if she would just ignore her and pretend she did not hear her, not when she couldn’t avert her gaze from her and break their eye-contact.

 

“Not at all,” said Minjoo, now in English, the corner of her lips lifted up. She was teasing Yujin so it would gain her interest even more. Then turned her attention to the show, Yujin wasn’t even watching The Beatles’ performance anymore because she was just staring at Minjoo.

 

“You could understand my question.” Yujin pointed out, not amused, still using Korean.

 

Minjoo broke into a smile. “Exactly. Why must I state the obvious? Hmm?” answered the woman in her mother tongue, turning to face Yujin again who was leaning a little bit to the other seat, bothering the man between them — he was already grumbling something under his breath like ‘ing foreigners’.

 

Yujin’s face lit up, her lips parted in amazement. “So, you are indeed Korean! Sorry, I was just surprised when I heard someone speaking in that language. Aside from my mother and cousin, I can’t talk with someone in Korean so hearing someone speak, I can’t help but to be stunned.” She said, her voice was chirpy and excited — The Beatles were long ignored.

 

Despite the loud screams and shouts, they were still able to hear each other. And one seat apart too. Minjoo didn’t mind the man sitting between them, smiling softly at Yujin. She was slightly shocked that Yujin was so talkative in person, she had this outgoing vibes but the notes in her journal made Minjoo assume that she was an introvert.

 

Yujin looked delighted to meet another Korean in this place. Would Yujin write this meeting of them in the journal too?

 

Speaking of Yujin’s journal, she left it in her house because Chaeyeon instructed her to. Well, it was alright since she could remember the entries by heart after reading it countless times already.

 

“Ahh, foreigners. Annoying.” The man between them huffed, standing up from his seat, and walked away in annoyance. Minjoo followed him with a death glare, wanting to spit out a ‘ off’ but realized it might be too inappropriate. Yujin did not bat an eye on him either so Minjoo did not.

 

The theater actress slash aspiring musician then sprung up from her seat and sat on the vacant seat where the xenophobic man left so she and Minjoo were sitting beside each other — Minjoo’s heart leaped. Yujin’s sparkly eyes were still glued to her, amazed, and wouldn’t even turn to the performance anymore.

 

“Where are you from? I mean, in Korea?”

 

“Seoul.”

 

“My family also came from there! Are you permanently staying here in New York?”

 

“Ah, nope. We’re going to stay here — well, for a few months.”

 

“That’s cool~ What’s the reason for your stay? Study purposes?”

 

Minjoo was really surprised but she melted to see how enthusiastic Yujin was to find another Korean in here — it seemed like she didn’t really have Korean friends at all. It was like finding a dove in a flock of crows.

 

The woman hummed, glancing at the stage because she mustered courage to stare back. “Yeah. Sort of. Also a vacation with my friends, I guess.” answered Minjoo softly, and was starting to sweat because Yujin was just intently looking at her, written in her chocolate eyes was curiosity and she looked intrigued. And it made Minjoo very nervous.

 

“I see. What’s your name?” Yujin then asked.

 

Minjoo bit her lower lip. “Minjoo. Kim Minjoo.” introduced Minjoo, she knew she should’ve introduced using her fake name ‘Amy’ but she couldn’t bring herself to lie for some reason, not when Yujin was looking forward to knowing her.

 

Yujin blinked, murmuring softly, “Minjoo.” As if she was testing something, and repeated it again carefully. “Minjoo… it’s a very pretty name.” She then added the compliment with a sheepish smile.

 

The woman from the future was dumbfounded, heat started to crawl up from her neck to her face but thankfully, Yujin was distracted by the loud cheering of the crowd when The Beatles started to perform another song — she briefly looked at the stage, amazed again to see her favorite band. Minjoo used Yujin’s distraction as an advantage to calm herself down, fanning her face using her own hand then looked away so if the theater actress turned back to stare at her again, her red blushing face wasn’t too visible.

 

“Nice to meet you, Minjoo! I’m Yujin. Ahn Yujin!” Yujin then introduced herself with a cute smile, her dimples poking out then offered her hand for a handshake. I know, Yujin. I know you well.

 

Minjoo stared at Yujin’s hand for a moment, hesitating but not in a bad way — she was just scared for a moment but when the hand started to lower a bit because it had been hanging in the air like that for almost a minute already — Minjoo took it immediately, giving it a light squeeze as she shook it.

 

“Likewise, Yujin-ssi.” Minjoo said, staring right back at Yujin’s eyes, feeling the softness of the latter’s hand onto her; there were sparks and it was warm. Minjoo kind of wanted to hold her hand forever. It was a lovely feeling to be able to meet the owner of the journal that Minjoo had read.

 

Yujin’s grin widened, and her dimples even went deeper. Minjoo shivered, this woman was so dashing and beautiful yet handsome at the same time. She was majestic.

 

Before she could stare on further, she moved her hand and eyes away, trying to focus on the band instead then gestured to the stage. “Let’s focus on watching. The Beatles are your favorite band after all.” She said, and froze when she realized what she had said. Okay, she was panicking that was why she said that in an attempt to make Yujin’s attention turn back to the band on the stage and not be glued to her because it was making her nervous and her heart was racing so fast that she couldn’t even take it.

 

Yujin looked at her, amused. “How did you know?” asked the woman but didn’t look suspicious, just teasing.

 

Minjoo went red then tried to play it cool. “I just assumed. You kept shouting like a mad woman earlier, that’s why I hushed you down.” She answered, and when she said that she gave herself a mental proud pat on the shoulder. Great excuse!

 

Yujin laughed, and oh, Minjoo was stunned for a bit because of that. And after that exchange, Yujin focused on watching the band instead like an obedient puppy while still wearing that adorable smile on her lips.

 

A sigh of relief escaped Minjoo’s lips, and tried to focus on watching too. This time, Yujin wasn’t cheering loudly, just occasional squeals and clapping until the show ended.

 

Once it ended, Minjoo stood up along with some people, ready to leave. When she turned to Yujin, she saw that the woman’s attention was captured by a man — they were talking about plays or something, must be her colleague. So, with a shrug, she silently took off, feeling fulfilled that she met Yujin.

 

As she went to the lobby where the squad decided to meet up once the show had ended — the smile on her lips couldn’t be erased. She was so happy yet at the same time, sad. Yujin would die on her own birthday soon and Minjoo was unable to do anything, it was pitiful, really. That was why Minjoo would definitely treat Yujin like a good friend, and give her the support and affection she deserved when she still had time.

 

“Minjoo! Wait up!”

 

The woman was surprised to hear a familiar voice calling for her, and soon, she felt someone grabbing her arm, making her turn. Minjoo was struck to see Yujin in front of her, towering over her as she tightly gripped on her arm as if she was scared to let go — she was panting softly, and her brows were furrowed.

 

“Don’t go yet,” Yujin softly whispered, almost desperately — she really looked terrified that time, like she literally scrambled onto her feet just to find Minjoo because she left without a notice.

 

Minjoo blinked; she was actually about to wait for Yujin in here as she waited for her friends too but it looked like the woman thought she already disappeared just like that, leaving her there. But Minjoo did not say anything, she just tilted her head, confused but her heart warmed at the thought that Yujin got scared when she thought Minjoo left her.

 

The only thing Minjoo could do was to smile.

 

“Do you live around this area? Or other neighboring boroughs?” Yujin then asked, oh yeah, for a moment — Minjoo thought that she was going to ask for her number but of course, this wasn’t the modern time.

 

Minjoo hummed with a smile, trying to ignore Yujin’s hand on her arm. “Yes. I’m just around. I’ll stay in Manhattan with my friends.” answered the shorter woman, damn, she had to tilt her head a bit to meet Yujin’s gaze — she was too surprised at their height difference, she did not expect that this woman was this tall.

 

Suppressing a chuckle, Minjoo witnessed how Yujin perked up when she realized that they were staying in the same borough. Ah, this woman would be so delighted if she ever heard that they were living in the same building. But Minjoo knew she couldn’t just blurt out information like that.

 

However, before Yujin could say anything further — they both heard a shout across the hallway, calling for Minjoo’s name. And simultaneously, they turned their heads where the voice was coming from. It was Chaewon, she was already with the others.

 

“Are those your friends?” asked Yujin, looking at the five girls approaching them with equally surprised faces. Minjoo gave them a pointed look, meaning that they should stay calm and .

 

Minjoo nodded, turned back to them, and tried to communicate through eyes. It looked like they got the signal anyway, although they were all surprised and amused (probably because Minjoo managed to find Yujin in the venue easily). “Yujin-ssi, these are my friends. Also all Koreans.” She said, and Yujin’s face glowed even more when she heard that. “This is Chaeyeon, that’s her sister Chaewon, and this is Yuri, Hyewon, and Hitomi. Uhm, guys meet Yujin — I met her earlier,” She introduced them one by one, ignoring the shocked stares because she said their real names instead of the fake ones.

 

Chaeyeon just smiled wickedly at that, immediately bowing her head as a greeting to Yujin. The latter excitedly bowed back at them, shyly scratching her nape but she looked glad to find a group of people with the same nationality as her. Minjoo’s heart softened, she knew that Yujin was a little bit lonely because she didn’t have Korean friends at all — in schools, they were rarely people who came from Korea so she was mostly alone and trying to blend in with other different people so she must be ecstatic to know that she would have friends like them now.

 

“Well, I guess we really need to go now,” Minjoo started to bid her goodbye, and Yujin was alarmed, instinctively reaching for the hem of the sleeve of Minjoo’s trench coat, grasping it tightly. The gesture made Minjoo’s heart stop, her brain went blank.

 

Yujin cleared , saying, “Can I get your telephone number? Or address? So I can give you a call or letter,” She asked shyly, the tips of her ears were flaring red.

 

Minjoo didn’t manage to say anything, just gaping at Yujin. For some reason, she couldn’t bring herself to open and answer, just staring at the taller woman with an amused gaze. So, was this how people asked for someone’s number in the past? Telephone number? But Minjoo didn’t know their telephone number!

 

Chaeyeon immediately noticed Minjoo’s hesitance so she immediately answered, “We still haven’t set up the line for our telephone so we can’t give you any but the apartment building we’re currently staying at. We live at Diamond’s, apartment unit 4811 and 4812. You can always drop by and let’s have tea.” She offered an answer with a soft smile.

 

“I live in Diamond’s too! Just what a coincidence,” Yujin beamed when she heard the address, practically couldn’t stop shaking at all. “I didn’t know we had new neighbors. I’ll definitely visit soon!” added the aspiring musician with a dorky grin.

 

With that, they finally parted ways with Yujin since they would still go somewhere to settle something. They sent Yujin off with smiles on their faces, pretty fond of the tall woman because of how enthusiastic she was to meet them. Minjoo could only say a simple, “Have a safe trip home. I’ll be expecting your visit soon.” as Yujin hailed a taxi.

 

Yujin flashed her a dashing grin as she hopped inside, excitedly waving at them as they drove off. And it would be better if we won’t mention that Minjoo’s heart literally stopped beating because of the smile.

 

The moment Yujin was finally away, the five of them turned to Minjoo, looking at her expectantly — Yuri was giving her a teasing look, a smirk playing on her lips. Minjoo did not say anything. “That doesn’t look friendly.” She broke the silence.

 

Minjoo hissed, feeling her cheeks heat up. “What do you mean by that, shut it,” huffed the woman.

 

Chaewon scratched her head, a little bit conflicted but she noticed something between them indeed. “Minjoo, I think it’s not a good idea to be close with her.” She said, “Let’s just observe her from afar.”

 

The woman shook her head, sighing. “I willingly travelled back in time so I could be her friend, Chaewon-ah. Now, why are you guys being like this? Yujin is very harmless.” She replied, and the six of them started to walk down to the streets, avoiding people as much as possible — they were getting dirty looks from people already from talking in Korean alone.

 

However, the others did not explain what they meant that it was a bad idea to befriend Yujin? Minjoo was confused and a little bit offended. Yujin was literally a ball of fluff who needed friends. She was so happy to meet them too!

 

Chaeyeon spoke though after a few moments of silence. “Remember, Minjoo-ah. We’re not from this time, we don’t have the right to form a very serious relationship or connection with someone.” She said, and took a deep breath before adding, “We can’t afford to be attached with someone who’s not from our time.”

 

Minjoo was silent after that, however, she defended herself. “I know that. I just…” She paused, pursing her lips together. “Don’t worry, I know my place.” whispered the woman, turning to meet Chaeyeon’s eyes, sincere and determined. “I will just let Yujin feel that she’s loved and she’s wonderful. She failed to get enough support through her short lifetime, and even just a little, I want to give her what she really deserves.”

 

With that, the topic about Yujin was cut off, and it was Yuri’s time to shine — blabbering about The Beatles, and talked about how she almost fainted when the band came out from the back stage.

 

Minjoo was left wondering, sighing mentally. This wasn’t a bad idea, right? It wouldn’t hurt once Minjoo went back in time, at least she was satisfied that she managed to give Yujin the comfort she needed before she died.

 

***

 

Four days passed, and the six women from the future were finally starting to adapt to normal life in that timeline. They were starting to get used to the fact that things were not very modern. They really needed to get used to it somehow — even though Chaeyeon and Chaewon could create wifi and other modern human techs that would make their life easier, they decided to blend along as if they were really born in that time.

 

Minjoo didn’t even use the phone even though it wasn’t pretty useless — she would just read books all day, browse through the library two streets away, and visit some museums. She had also started to watch some theater plays. Sometimes, there were times that she was still amazed at the things she would witness that were considered unusual and very old from the modern life she grew accustomed to but still, even so, she was eager to adjust and live like a normal woman from the 60’s.

 

She was in the library again when she felt something vibrating in her pocket. It was her phone. Minjoo froze, she stopped reading the book, and closed it before placing it back to the shelf — she then walked to a more deserted area, and with that, she whipped her phone out. Of course, phones weren’t still introduced in this kind of time, if someone ever saw her fiddling on her phone then she might get crowded on.

 

When she checked, it was from Hyewon. They could only use this phone to send each other messages if necessary, even though there were no proper towers yet or signals — Chaeyeon and Chaewon did something in their phones as usual so it could still function well in this place.

 

In the message, the woman was asking her to go home already because Yujin dropped by. Her eyes widened.

 

Minjoo had never run that fast before. Well, she was eager to meet Yujin again anyway — she had been waiting for her arrival for three days but nothing. She realized then that Yujin must be attending her university and pretty busy so she just occupied herself with some books as she waited.

 

The distance between the library and the apartment complex wasn’t that far but when Minjoo arrived at the door of their unit, she was a sweating and panting mess. She stayed there for a few minutes to catch her breath, and fix her hair that became a little bit messy after all of the running.

 

With a huff of breath, Minjoo turned the knob and entered the unit. As soon as she entered, she heard multiple voices and laughter. Her curiosity intensified, she took off her shoes first and noticed that there was an unfamiliar pair of shoes. When she appeared in the living room, Yujin was already seated on their couch, holding a cup of tea while smiling and conversing with the girls.

 

Chaewon, Chaeyeon, and Hyewon were also present since they were the ones who were living in the other room — they would bond really well since they shared the same interests anyway. Minjoo wouldn’t be able to handle rooming with the siblings because of the experiments and stuff.

 

Yujin immediately turned to her direction, her smile widened — turning into a big grin as soon as she spotted her. Minjoo blushed a bit, approaching closer but glad to see her again.

 

“Yujin, hello. It’s been a while. I’ve been waiting for you,” Minjoo greeted, sitting down beside her since there was only the space left — and it felt like it was really reserved for her judging from the looks of the people around the room.

 

Beaming, Yujin placed the cup of steaming jasmine tea back to the coffee table first before fully facing Minjoo, her smile not fading. “I still have school and practices so I was not able to drop by these past few days.” said the taller woman with an apologetic smile, she then tilted her head, eyeing her intently. “Did you run? You look tired and sweaty.”

 

Minjoo blinked, wiping the beads of sweat forming on her forehead with the sleeve of her coat. “Ah, I immediately rushed here when Hyewon g—” She immediately pursed her lips together. , she almost blurted out that Hyewon messaged her!

 

She felt the other five women’s gaze boring holes on her. She almost slipped! Cold sweat started to form on her forehead again, and Yujin just patiently waited for her to answer, confused why she stopped speaking but didn’t say anything, frowning a bit.

 

“—when I remembered that Hyewon might eat the chocolates I bought since I left it unattended and not hidden. I just came from the library when realization struck me, haha.” Minjoo swiftly reasoned out, albeit a little awkward and stiff but luckily, Yujin bought the lie, chuckling — amused.

 

She mentally gave herself a pat and let out a relieved sigh, when she looked at her friends — they were glaring at her. Minjoo just gave them a dorky smile.

 

“Well, it’s great you went home or else, I might not be able to meet you today,” said Yujin, and Minjoo tried not to blush but the tips of her ears went red.

 

After that, they all succumbed into a friendly, light-hearted conversation.

 

The six of them talked to Yujin like they didn’t have any idea about her life at all, especially Minjoo who literally remembered every single detail about Yujin that came from the journal. She listened to the woman talk animatedly in Korean, sharing about her experiences and about her studies — also she told them that she was a theatre actress.

 

Minjoo faked a gasp at that, finally, the topic she had been waiting for. “Oh? I’m a Theater Arts student. This is really nice! I also do some plays at school too!” She revealed, a little bit excited and Yujin gaped at her, leaning closer to Minjoo as her chocolate orbs sparkled.

 

And with that, the two of them happily talked about theater arts, leaving the five away as if they formed a whole new world with which only the two of them could enter. They let them, just smiling at each other as they silently watched Yujin and Minjoo talk and giggle at each other.

 

Soon, when afternoon ended, Yujin decided that she should go home now because her cousin must be waiting for her. Minjoo hid her disappointment because they were still having fun talking but of course, she just smiled.

 

Well, Yujin promised to drop by again real soon anyway. That was enough. The taller woman also gave her unit number so if they wanted to visit her and her cousin, they were welcome to do so — even bragging that her older cousin was a great cook and would willingly cook them Korean food if they were craving for some.

 

Minjoo was the one who sent Yujin off until to the door of the unit, and they promised to talk more once they met again. And with one last exchange of smiles, Yujin finally walked away while Minjoo watched her from the door, and until she disappeared from her sight.

 

That day, Minjoo was satisfied and accomplished, as if she had done very well. Yujin was really fun to talk with as expected, she was eager to share something and eager to learn about the others too. She knew when to speak, and knew when to listen intently, and react. All in all, Yujin was a nice friend to have — especially if she was comfortable with the said people.

 

Throughout, Yujin looked laidback and genuinely happy to have a conversation with them. This was what Yujin needed, true friends — and Minjoo would give her that. Genuine companionship.

 

***

 

It had been a month or so since the group of friends from the future travelled back in the past. So far, they weren’t facing any conflicts and their life there was relatively peaceful. They were starting to adjust with life there. It wasn’t too boring since they always have something to do or try. And hey, because of Yujin, their life there was less plain and silent.

 

After that visit, Yujin started to drop by quite often whenever she wasn’t too busy after her classes and practices. Whenever she went there, she was always bringing some food for the seven of them which was a heartwarming gesture, really. Sometimes, in the morning — Minjoo would purposely have a morning walk outside so she would be able to greet Yujin a good morning. Minjoo would even walk beside Yujin and literally drop her off near her university since the school was just a walking distance from their homes.

 

Yujin attended Manhattan School of Music.

 

They would talk as they walked until Yujin had to enter the school grounds.

 

Damn, they could always talk every single day — there was always something to talk about, especially that they have the same interests. Both were also taking up almost the same career. They bonded over music too, thankfully enough, Minjoo liked to casually listen to old songs so she could relate.

 

It wasn’t just her that got close with Yujin — the others started to be fond of the taller woman already. Yuri and Yujin were super close because they were both huge fans of the Beatles; they even bicker now like sisters. Sometimes if bored, Chaeyeon and Chaewon would help Yujin’s assignments in Physics and anything related to science and teach her while Hyewon would volunteer to help her in anything math related. Hitomi would even make some sweets so she could give them to Yujin.

 

It really felt like Yujin was part of their group now and there were no complaints at all. But Minjoo couldn’t help but to feel a little bit sad sometimes, she did not expect that Yujin would be so attached and close to them like this. She couldn’t help but wonder; would Yujin feel sad once they parted ways. She would be alone once again as she waited for her tragic demise to happen soon.

 

The thoughts hurt… Minjoo was slowly regretting since she got to know her even more and she was getting attached, no lie. But at the same time, she was so lucky to meet her and interact with her normally. Yujin was such a fantastic and sweet woman, she was a lot more outside that journal.

 

She was worried but she decided to deal with it in the future instead, and cherish the time that she was a good friend of Yujin.

 

For now, she would focus on spending time with Yujin. She shouldn’t be thinking of things like that as of the moment, especially that Yujin was currently beside her, eating a popsicle.

 

Winter had officially ended, it was still a little bit chilly but hot enough for them to wear casual clothes that wouldn’t need to offer them warmth. And it was a weekend so Yujin decided to ask them if they were free to roam around Central Park since the weather was good.

 

Without thinking twice, Minjoo agreed. Unfortunately, the others were busy with their own businesses and unable to join them which was fine. Yujin perfectly understood that, already happy enough that Minjoo was going to accompany her. It was a good timing too since Minjoo had not visited the said place yet and she wasn’t doing anything productive anyway.

 

The both of them were currently sitting on one of the benches, eating popsicles, and resting after walking around for an hour straight. Yujin was a great tour guide.

 

When the latter learned that Minjoo hadn’t still roamed around New York, Yujin offered to take her around every weekend whenever she wasn’t busy with theater practice. Minjoo, of course, took the offer — delighted.

 

“Do you know how to play some instruments?” asked Yujin in the middle of their comfortable silence.

 

Minjoo hummed, finishing her own popsicle then threw it to the bin beside their bench, it successfully went in so she smirked in triumph before turning her attention back to Yujin. “Yes. Piano. I used to be a pianist,” She answered.

 

Yujin was amazed, nodding in recognition. “You should play me something soon, I expect that you have the same skill as Beethoven in piano.” She teased, and Minjoo laughed, playfully slapping the taller woman’s arm.

 

“I just know how to play, you know? I’m not really that good but sure, I should practice my skills now. Surely, it’s rusty. It’s been a while since I last played. But I want to put up a good show for you.” Minjoo responded, flexing her fingers. She noticed that Yujin was staring at her fingers as she gently moved them for a stretch.

 

The answer snapped Yujin back to herself though. “Oh, we have a grand piano at home! Eunbi-unnie used to play before too but now, it’s just sitting there for display because she’s too busy with her work and I don’t know how to play. You can play it!” She said, once again excited like a little child.

 

Minjoo thought it was not bad at all, she wanted to play too anyway. “Sure!” She agreed with a toothy smile. “How about you, Yujin-ah?”

 

Yujin immediately responded, “I know how to play guitar~”

 

Minjoo purposely didn’t say that she also knew how to play, not wanting to mention it. “Really? You should teach me how to play sometimes.” She didn’t know where the urge of lying to Yujin came from but the woman thought that this might be a good idea in the future.

 

Nodding like a puppy, Yujin eyed her with her eyes flaming, eager to teach Minjoo. “Absolutely! People always say that I’m a good teacher so I guess you’re in the right hands~” She boasted that made Minjoo giggle at her confidence.

 

“Well, I look forward to you teaching me how to play guitar, Ahn Yujin-ssi~” Minjoo teased back. Yujin just chuckled.

 

The two then decided to roam around the park again for another hour before ultimately deciding to go home now, and play with the instruments. Yujin was so excited to watch Minjoo play the piano that she couldn’t even stop blabbering about some famous pieces that Mozart and Beethoven composed.

 

Yujin excused herself that she would just call Eunbi so she should expect their arrival, and Minjoo waited and stood near the telephone booth while the taller woman used it. Their situation was oddly weird but at the same time, comfortable? Well, in the modern times — Minjoo did not even have to wait for Yujin from outside of the telephone booth because phones existed.

 

However, there was a strange cute feeling bubbling inside her as she waited there, glancing at Yujin through the transparent glass windows of the telephone booth. And once she was done, she placed the telephone back, and went outside of the booth — smiling at Minjoo. “Let’s go. I’ll hail a cab.”

 

With that, the both of them went back to their apartment building but instead of heading straight to Minjoo’s unit, they went to Yujin’s. It would be her first time to head there alone, just together with Yujin.

 

When they entered the unit, they were greeted by Yujin’s sweet older cousin, Eunbi. Minjoo knew little about the cousin because Yujin only mentioned her in the journal a couple of times, saying that Eunbi was the best cousin ever and Minjoo could see that. Eunbi was a sweet woman, always cooking them Korean food if she wasn’t busy with her work.

 

The older woman excused herself that she needed to run some errands so they were alone together in the homey and quiet unit — Yujin led her to the ‘loft’ of the unit, and there was where the grand piano was displayed. No wonder Minjoo did not notice it when she visited here with her friends before since it was hidden.

 

Minjoo played wholeheartedly when Yujin gave her permission, watching and listening to her as she leaned against the side. The shorter woman made a lot of mistakes since it had been a while since she last played and forgot some notes but Yujin would just smile encouragingly at her, urging her to continue.

 

While Minjoo played, Yujin surely enjoyed listening to her with a smile and would sometimes nod her head along. She was very expressive with her reactions — she would even frown a bit when Minjoo would press the wrong key so sometimes Minjoo would playfully and purposely press the wrong key to break the peaceful and enjoying look from the taller woman’s face.

 

After that, they decided to have a brief guitar lesson but before that lesson, Yujin played for a bit. Minjoo was in awe because Yujin was also a skilled guitar player — the way her slender fingers would move to strum the strings, and Yujin even sang! Her voice was really heaven sent that Minjoo was dumbfounded, gaping at Yujin as she watched with drool leaking from her parted lips.

 

Thankfully, Yujin was not able to witness Minjoo drooling as she watched and listened to her sing so beautifully. And soon, the taller woman handed Minjoo the guitar but the latter fumbled on it awkwardly, faking that she wasn’t too used to handling a guitar.

 

Yujin patiently taught her, and surprisingly, she was a good teacher but Minjoo still faked that she couldn’t get the grasp of playing the guitar, making expressions that showed that she was having a difficult time and frustrated to the very core.

 

They stopped when the telephone rang, and someone from Yujin’s school called — the director of the play; they had a sudden late night practice because the date of the play got moved since the visitors and other professors from the other states had a last minute reschedule.

 

Minjoo understood it, although quite disappointed that their practice session got cut off.

 

They parted ways promising that they would continue practicing next week.

 

When Minjoo got home, she couldn’t even wipe off the smile plastered on her lips — the others noticed the unusual behavior of the woman but they never said anything, they let Minjoo giggle at herself as she tried to read a book about murders and crimes.

 

***

 

A new routine was added in their weekend schedule; the both of them would roam around New York to do sightseeing and afterwards, go back home to teach Minjoo how to play guitar and sometimes, Minjoo would help Yujin practice her lines in her upcoming plays. It was like that every once a week. Some days, Yujin would still visit the others to hang out with them — although it was obvious that she spent more time with Minjoo, no one said a thing.

 

When the others noticed that something was quite off, Chaeyeon finally decided to have a talk with Minjoo, reminding her that they were about to go back to the present time next month.

 

And as expected, Minjoo begged that they should stay a little longer. No one had objections anyway, but they were obviously worried for Minjoo and Yujin’s growing ‘friendship’ — it was obvious enough that Minjoo was very close and attached now; if they weren’t then Minjoo wouldn’t even oppose. Thankfully enough, they were prepared in case they needed to stay a little longer — they still had some medicines and other stuff that they needed.

 

Minjoo wasn’t going to lie but she was hesitating now, she was reluctant to leave the past and leave Yujin like that. It didn’t feel right so she asked for an extension of their stay in that timeline. She wasn’t still accomplished, her ‘mission’ wasn’t done yet after all. She still wanted to witness Yujin loving doing theatre the same as she loved music.

 

There was huge progress though — Yujin talked about her plays more quite often these days rather than her compositions.

 

And there was just something that Minjoo wasn’t able to explain. Another reason why she wanted to stay. But she wasn’t able to pinpoint it — it was one of the big reasons that was holding her back to leave this timeline.

 

Minjoo tried to imagine, there were sleepless nights haunted by Yujin’s crestfallen expression when Minjoo told her that they would be going back home now and wouldn’t be able to return anymore — she couldn’t breathe, her heart would painfully clench inside her. She didn’t know; Minjoo didn’t want to see that. She didn’t want to leave Yujin.

 

Minjoo had really treated Yujin as a friend, a great companion — she saw her as a close friend. Maybe even more than that…

 

You see, Minjoo was having a conflict. With herself, and her feelings. Recently, she had been starting to notice her weird action and behavior around Yujin, and the way her heart acted whenever the latter was near — it was noticeable that Minjoo couldn’t help but to think and be confused.

 

As expected, she would only just shrug it off. That couldn’t be romantic at all because hell, Minjoo was aware of her situation — their situation. She was a woman from the future while Yujin was from the past, they couldn’t be together. And Yujin; Yujin was already a dead woman in Minjoo’s time. So, Minjoo knew that it wasn’t romantic, she knew her stand.

 

But…

 

Why was she feeling like that?

 

It was normal to feel something for a close friend, right? But again — towards her six close friends, she had never felt this giddily happy before, as if someone gave her the whole universe. No, Minjoo only saw them as sisters but when it came to Yujin, she couldn’t tell herself that Yujin was a little sister to her only. It felt like if she ever told herself that, she was just practically lying to herself.

 

She knew that she had no time to love. She couldn’t simply love Yujin that way. Close friendship was the very last stage of their ‘relationship’, and nothing more than that.

 

At least that was what Minjoo was trying to tell herself. To make herself better? To deny something? To convince herself that it was just really nothing but mere admiration towards a friend?

 

Minjoo looked up at Chaeyeon and Chaewon so much but it was obvious enough that Minjoo didn’t admire Yujin like that — it was more than that, most probably? Maybe, a little crush because; hold on, Minjoo would list Yujin’s qualities that she had come to admire or love.

 

First of all, Yujin was passionate. She was very passionate about music and her career in theatre — even though she only got forced to take that course because of her mother, she was still trying her best to be a great musical actress. It was really admirable how Yujin always poured her full effort to give a spectacular performance, even in just practices with Minjoo — the latter had witnessed that Yujin was determined to do well.

 

Second, her personality and attitude. Yujin was just a huge piece of fluffball, a little bit introverted because she suffered and experienced a lot of negative things but she still never gave up. She would instantly open up once she was comfortable — she was just literally a huge puppy trapped in a human body. She also got a golden heart.

 

Third, Yujin was hardworking and kind. Every good quality, Yujin probably possessed it. Until now. Minjoo still didn’t get why some people still disliked her — envious, most probably. Yujin wouldn’t even dare to hurt someone but even though she was getting stepped on a lot of times, she remained standing and kind in a lot of ways.

 

Now, Minjoo was just rambling about Yujin passionately, eh? Well, she could definitely list more because even though it had been two months since she just met Yujin — she had already learned a lot of things about the woman.

 

Yujin was very loveable, and she was almost perfect, wasn’t she?

 

Maybe, that was why Minjoo was so stunned — she admired Yujin a lot. Because who wouldn’t? Only jealous, envious people would not like Ahn Yujin anyway, it was just a shame that a woman like her would leave the world too soon — Yujin still needed to conquer the music and theater rindustry. Just how cruel the universe was?

 

Hmm, it was for the better not to think of what would happen soon, and focus on what they were having currently. It was depressing but what could Minjoo do? It already happened, and Minjoo was just a mere time traveler that simply didn’t have the right to turn things for the better.

 

Sigh. Turning the conversation back to her own feelings, Minjoo was having an internal conflict again. It had been like this for the past few weeks already — she tried to insist that it was nothing.

 

But if it was nothing then she wouldn’t worry or overthink about it like this as if she was restless…

 

“We have a show next week, and I want y’all to watch it if you guys are free.” Yujin said one day with a hopeful smile. Minjoo noticed that she was nervous too because she was fiddling with her fingers, and her leg was bouncing up and down — it was one of the things Minjoo learned herself, those little mannerisms of Yujin would show whenever she was anxious or nervous but also excited but trying to contain herself.

 

“Oh, we’ll definitely watch it!” Yuri beamed first, also excited.

 

After all, it was Yujin’s first time inviting them to watch her play. Mostly, her plays were for private and school purposes but this time, it was a public show where anyone could watch so she finally decided to ask them if they could watch her.

 

“Of course, we will. Next week, right? You’ll see us there,” Chaeyeon responded, smiling proudly at Yujin like a happy older sister seeing her little sister achieve a high grade in school.

 

Everyone agreed, even planning that they would cheer for her and give her some flowers and stuff. Yujin was overwhelmed, shy, and said that it was alright that they wouldn’t bring anything — their presence and support would be enough for her.

 

“You’re present too, right?” Yujin asked Minjoo, grinning brightly at the latter.

 

Minjoo deflated, almost squinting her eyes because of how bright the smile was. Her heart flipped. There was no way she would be able to miss watching Yujin’s play. She was the one who helped Yujin practice with the dialogues and she had been wanting for long to watch the woman conquer the theatre stage personally. It would be amazing, that was for sure.

 

Smiling back, Minjoo answered lightheartedly. “I will never miss a chance to witness a good play, yes?”

 

And there was when Minjoo had found herself seated on one of the seats of the theater building after a week. The place was packed with people, not that crowded but the seats were almost gone — thankfully enough, Yujin managed to secure them some seven seats. Eunbi was with them.

 

For some reason, Minjoo was nervous yet excited at the same time. She still hadn’t seen Yujin that day because she was too busy with the preparation and last rehearsal. But she was looking forward, she knew it would be spectacular. She prepared herself because it would be the first time Minjoo would witness Yujin performing on stage.

 

Sure, she had seen some glimpse of it since she helped Yujin practice her lines before and many more but the actual performance? She knew it would be different.

 

Yujin was probably nervous too. In her journal, she usually wrote down her experience before she went on stage and after the show ended. And the woman was always nervous — she must be extra nervous now because her friends were there to watch her.

 

But Minjoo knew; Yujin would do well. She was a talented woman after all.

 

And as expected, Yujin did magnificently well.

 

Minjoo was in awe throughout. Modern Broadway theatre wasn’t too simple like this, always glamorous and extra special but plays in old times like this were really something else. Pure talentry, raw, and simply beautiful.

 

Even though Yujin wasn’t the leading lady, she still got a lot of solo lines which made her shine even more. Even the others were so dumbfounded as they watched Yujin sing with all her heart while acting, and even dancing. Her expressions were topnotch, and she even outshone the leading lady of the play.

 

Throughout, Minjoo was simply speechless, her eyes wouldn’t even leave Yujin and would follow the young woman desperately. Her heart would beat rapidly because sometimes, Yujin would look at her as she sang from the stage. It was beautiful, and majestic — Yujin was wonderful.

 

Witnessing Yujin perform on that very stage until the curtains dropped which meant that the show ended; Minjoo felt the burning passion. Yujin really poured her all into the play. She could watch the woman perform every single day — her breath was taken away. Minjoo couldn’t even count the time she had to take a deep breath to calm herself down.

 

Her respect and admiration for Yujin rose up, literally skyrocketing above the sky.

 

And Yujin’s proud, happy smile after the play had ended as they bowed to the audience before the curtains dropped? Absolutely surreal, her eyes turned into little crescents and her eyes were sparkly. She was beyond happy and proud of herself at that moment even though it was obvious that she was extremely exhausted after performing for an hour or so, Minjoo was so sure. And that very moment itself, it triggered something inside the woman from the future.

 

As if there was a bud inside her heart that bloomed into a beautiful flower — no, there was something inside already ever since; it just went rapidly multiplied. There was just this light, shimmering yet strong feeling inside her chest — like there was a bouquet of flowers inside her, blooming still and dancing along the butterflies inside her stomach.

 

There was when realization struck her like a boulder coming down from the hill. She might be in love. She couldn’t even deny it and tell herself that her feelings for Yujin were just mere attraction and huge admiration. The thought was there, the idea was already lingering around her head for a month but she refused to acknowledge it.

 

In the process of witnessing Yujin’s love and passion for theater grew — Minjoo’s attraction also grew into something more without her even knowing. Romantic feelings developed as she spent time with Yujin and saw every side of her.

 

How could this happen? When Minjoo was fully aware that this was forbidden and friendship and companionship was all she could give because of their circumstance? A woman from the future, falling in love with a woman from the past? Absolute madness!

 

Minjoo sat there at her seat, silent as her mind ran — her heart wasn’t still calming down, especially after realizing something terrifying yet good at the same time.

 

The people around her were already standing up from their seats, ready to go home with a smile after watching a very spectacular show but Minjoo remained unmoving, unaware of her surroundings because of her deep realization. A shiver ran through her spine.

 

Yuri noticed that Minjoo wasn’t still standing up from her seat, and gestured to the others that the woman was still glued on the chair. “Minjoo?” called the younger, a little bit worried.

 

The others surrounded Minjoo who was just staring at the red curtains blankly. Chaeyeon tilted her head, telling Eunbi to greet Yujin at the backstage first so once the oldest among them went off with a nod and gave one last worried gaze at Minjoo — they all turned to Minjoo, trying to sense something.

 

“Minjoo?” Hitomi mumbled, holding Minjoo’s shoulder to snap her out of her daze but the said woman did not even react. They were getting weirded out of the woman’s sudden behavior. Was the play just that good that it made Minjoo unhinged?

 

However, a second after, they noticed that Minjoo’s lips quivered, and soon, a drop of sparkly tear escaped from her eye. Minjoo was shedding tears, and she looked so heartbroken that everyone panicked after a lone tear suddenly descended from her eye.

 

“Minjoo!?” Chaeyeon yipped, kneeling in front of Minjoo who was still staring blankly ahead but her look was crestfallen. She grabbed the woman’s trembling, clenched fists that were resting on top of her lap, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “Hey, there. Now, now. Calm down. What’s wrong?”

 

Minjoo let out a sharp breath, biting her lower lip then turned to look around — her friends were all worried and panicking because she suddenly cried. Oh, she was guilty that she suddenly had a breakdown like this, and in the middle of the theatre too!

 

She suddenly shrunk, embarrassed. Her friends’ worried gazes didn’t help, it just made her even more embarrassed. Her friends who willingly tagged along with her so she would be able to fulfill her wish to meet Yujin, the owner of the journal that she had found and grew interested in — how would they react once they heard Minjoo’s confession? It was embarrassing, they were the ones who reminded her always that she shouldn’t be too attached but now, here she was; hopelessly and helplessly in love with the woman from the past, and already dead in the present time.

 

Chaeyeon was very vocal, and often told Minjoo that she shouldn’t be too close because it would hurt for sure; it already hurt anyway but the pain suddenly became unbearable.

 

It was embarrassing, so stupid, so pathetic. But there was no point of lying anyway. For sure — they, too, knew that something was blooming and realized it before Minjoo could even notice it herself.

 

“I’m ed,” Minjoo whispered, slowly retracting her hands from Chaeyeon’s hold, using it to grip her hair. “I’m seriously mad.” added the woman, laughing bitterly at herself. “This is seriously embarrassing and wicked.”

 

They all frowned at what Minjoo was mumbling but Chaeyeon remained mum, eyeing Minjoo intently as the woman kept murmuring some words and curses under her breath, obviously frustrated. “Minjoo,” She softly called, reaching for the woman’s head, patting it for comfort — she was about to say some words that would assure and comfort the woman when suddenly, she spoke.

 

“I should’ve listened to you,” Minjoo whispered, and turned her gaze on Chaeyeon, tears freely falling from her eyes. Her nose was getting red already. “I should’ve ing listened to you... That it’s for the better that we just silently observe Yujin from afar and not get attached. Now, I’m tangled in this web of madness.” She added, biting her lower lip hard that it almost drew blood.

 

Everyone was silent, listening to Minjoo’s words carefully. Chaeyeon didn’t say anything, just heaving a sigh, expecting it to come already.

 

Minjoo let out a shaky breath before confessing her heart’s out.

 

“I shouldn’t have persuaded you and Chaewon to make time travelling possible so I can meet Yujin — who’s already long dead in the present time.”

 

“Now, I’m very much attached and in love with a woman from the past and doesn’t even exist in our time anymore.”

 

***

 

A/N: and were not done yet! second/last part will be uploaded one of these days so please wait for it~ hahahaha so, how was it? i enjoyed writing this prompt too despite me being unfamiliar with scientific s and the concept of time travelling. i originally planned to write 15k words maximum only but unsurprisingly, the maximum wordcount double wtf. how do you guys write shorter stories, genuine question lol

 

see you in a few days. and stay safe! dont be shy to comment or drop an upvote, they’re very much appreciated.

 

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rosesrunaway
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